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Should Some Support for Rural Areas be Aimed at Green Initiatives?

18 June 2012

DENMARK - At a council meeting today (18 June) Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mette Gjerskov presented a progress report on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. At the meeting the EU agricultural Ministers will also discuss animal welfare, rural development policy and organic production.

Should a part of the budget for Rural Development be spent on environmentally related actions? And which initiatives should be eligible for higher rates of EU co-financing? These were two main questions that the Presidency asked the agricultural Ministers to focus on when discussing the Commission’s proposal for the future Rural Development Programme.

"The Rural Development Programme offers the possibility to support green initiatives, and we now have the opportunity to make it mandatory to spend a certain amount of the money on environmentally and climate-based initiatives. At the same time we are going to discuss whether such initiatives should receive a higher rate of co-financing," says the chair, Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mette Gjerskov.

At the Council meeting Mette Gjerskov presented a progress report on the entire proposal for a reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. Several of major issues of the reform have been discussed at all Council meetings during the Danish Presidency. The progress report is a status of the intense debates and puts forward the Presidency’s revised proposals.

Two of the major issues have been the proposal on greening, where 30 per cent of direct payments are suggested to be dependent on the implementation of green requirements, and the concerns about red tape which is also reflected in the Presidency’s report.

The progress report is presented parallel to the European Parliament’s first announcement on the reform and may therefore give a hint on the final decisions that are to be negotiated.

TheCropSite News Desk

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