CAP Reform Moves Closer

02 June 2010
SNP Member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee Mr Alyn Smith has today (Wednesday) taken part in a discussion in the committee on the huge number of amendments put down to the Committee's report on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), being drafted by Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon.

The report has been subjected to upwards of 700 amendments, with a number of these being wrapped up into compromise amendments which Smith, in the main, supports.

Smith congratulated George Lyon on his handling of the quest for compromise, but in a plea to colleagues reiterated his concern that the Committee risks the eventual creation of a report which will be muddled and confused.

Smith said:

"This report has generated a remarkable amount of amendments, many of which indicate the confused view of EU Agriculture Policy as a whole.  Depending on the MEP concerned, the CAP is there to achieve job creation, environmental objectives, economic development, animal health and a number of other worthy aims.  For me, the CAP is there to maintain food security, and all else is secondary.

"George has commendably kept active farming and food production top of the agenda, but I'm concerned that some of our colleagues risk muddling the message by bolting on umpteen other aims and objectives which would be better dealt with through other policy tools.

"We have another two weeks before the final vote in Committee on 15 June, then it will come before full plenary in July, so by that point I hope that the Parliament's view will be clearer, and that there will be a greater focus on the maintenance of food production.  This is very much the start of the process and we have a long way to go."