Alyn Publishes CAP Reform Guide

19 June 2012
Alyn Smith MEP, Scottish full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, has today (Tuesday) published a brief guide to the CAP reform discussions in the EU in order to inform the debate in Scotland about the process ongoing in Brussels.

With the deadline for amendments on the 9th and 10th July for all four CAP reports, it is urgent that Scotland's farmers and producers make their thoughts known now if they wish to see the next Common Agricultural Policy fit their farming circumstances as well as possible. The European Parliament has codecision powers on CAP reform for the first time, therefore the eventual shape of the four reports will be a determining factor in the final form of the CAP.

Alyn will be at the Highland Show in Ingliston from Thursday and is keen to gather as many opinions and ideas from the Scottish agricultural sector as possible while there. He hopes that the CAP Reform Guide that he has published today will help Scottish organisations and individuals to engage with the often complicated reform process.

Alyn said:

"It is satisfying to be finally getting into the detail of CAP reform, after what has been years of lead up to it. The four reports, debated in the Agriculture Committee yesterday and today, are mixed bags - there is a lot to be welcomed and a lot still to be done. A number of issues still need to be addressed, in particular the need for a system of entry into entitlements that gives new entrants equality of access from the start, and the need for more flexibility in greening options. I also want to see enough power given to responsible governments to fine-tune the policy to make it suit local specificities where required.

"However, this is all well and good but I want to hear from Scottish farmers, and our agricultural and rural organisations, to hear what you think needs to be changed. My CAP Reform Guide should be a useful starting point for stimulating debate and will clarify where I think we need to see the most urgent changes or improvements made, but now I need to hear from you.

"I'll be speaking to as many folk as I can at Ingliston, including doing a Q&A with the Young Farmers Association, but I urge anyone with suggestions or questions to get in touch with me directly on alyn.smith@ep.europa.eu. Amendment deadline in the Agriculture Committee is 9th July so time is, as ever, pressing."

Download CAP report (PDF 1.3 MB)