A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Russian embargo as catalyst for new CAP malfunctions?

November 3, 2014

The European Commission’s letter of amendment to the 2015 EU budget draft is creating some buzz. The proposed budget adjustments could further cripple an already distressed agricultural sector, and curb the means to counter the Russian embargo on EU food that now includes offal, flour, bovine and porcine fat and poultry.

The obvious reason is that the Russian embargo would mean a direct annual loss of €5.2 billion indicates the FNSEA. And far from being tailored to the circumstances, budget resources are not only becoming scarce but subjected to new cuts as they get reoriented to non-agricultural expenditures––energy and fighting the spread of the Ebola virus among others. Yet the CAP allocation includes margins of €447.9 millions. Consequently,
    - The crisis contingency reserve (funded by a 1.3 percent cut in direct payments to farmers in 2014) is reduced to a minimal share, that is to say €88 million from the original €430 million;

    - The subsidies that must be paid to fruit, vegetable and dairy farmers to deal with the consequences of the embargo are only partially used;

    - The aid package to milk farmers in the Baltic countries and Finland, which largely rely of exports to the Russian market, is still not operative;

    - Lastly and to top it all, the financial super-levy applied to the 2013/2014 milk quota overrun will not go to agriculture but will be spent to pay outstanding bills.
Several trade associations and member states are opposed to this CAP budget turnaround, and are calling for an access to other financing sources than the CAP. They are pointing out that European farmers must not have to pay for the consequences of a mostly political and diplomatic crisis with Moscow. It is in this belief that the four AGRI Commission vice presidents recently called on Jean-Claude Juncker to show some “solidarity” with farmers, a founding principle of the CAP.

In the short term, there is still some hope. The “mediation” process between the EU Parliament and Council on the 2015 budget started on October 28 and should be over by mid-November. The Parliament has already increased payment appropriations and asked for additional funds.

Yet the issue is more global. momagri’s warnings have been confirmed. The CAP budget is not only too limited to face the consequences of both upward and downward agricultural price volatility on farmers’ incomes, but the new CAP also provides inadequate tools to confront the economic and geopolitical realities.

Agriculture must not serve as a mere budget adjustment variable, which would make it the soft underbelly of Europe! It is now urgent to review our agricultural strategy in the name of safeguarding our agricultural model, our food security and our place on the world stage.

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Paris, 20 June 2019