Mid-term review impact studies are released
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CTA. 2003. Mid-term review impact studies are released. Agritrade, February 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52418
The European Commission released two internal- and four external-impact studies...
The European Commission released two internal- and four external-impact studies on January 15th 2003 which review the likely impact of the Commission's mid-term review proposals on agriculture in the EU-15 and EU-25. In its accompanying press statement the Commission emphasised that the proposed 'de-coupling' of aid from production would not lead to any abandonment of production but would considerably improve market balances in the EU. The main impact of de-coupling it was pointed out would be felt in the beef sector while the impact in the arable sector would be marginal. The Commission argued that its modulation proposals would have a positive impact on overall farm income. On January 16th Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler elaborated on the major findings of the studies, maintaining that the studies showed that de-coupled direct aid payments would not be the end of farming in the EU and would not lead to 'the Europe-wide food shortages predicted by some doom mongers'. He pointed out that in the cereals sector output levels would scarcely be affected, and that although output in the beef sector would drop by 3%, this would be accompanied by a shift to less intensive and more high-quality production which would actually increase farmers' incomes in the beef sector by 4%. Commissioner Fischler insisted that 2003 is a year of decision for the CAP, with EU Ministers being called upon to make decisions by the middle of 2003. The tabling of specific proposals for regulations was scheduled for the week of the 20th January. Comment: It should be noted that the impact assessment of the Commission's mid-term review only looks at the impact of changes where the Commission is planning to make specific proposals. The assessments do not and cannot look at the implications of possible reforms of the dairy, sugar, olive oil, and certain fruit and vegetable regimes which the Commission may propose between now and 2009. It is an open question therefore as to what the implications would be of a move over to a system involving single de-coupled farm payments if the dairy, sugar olive oil and fruit and vegetable sectors were to be brought into the scheme (as seems to be the Commission's long-term intention under the mid-term review proposals). It should also be borne in mind that by the time the Commission's proposals have passed through the EU Council of Ministers, member states will have secured specific concessions in areas of greatest concern to them, which in all probability will provide additional incentives for production which will not have been taken into account in the recently conducted modelling exercises.