UK Lib Dem MEP George Lyon has welcomed the deal on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as a big step in the right direction, but stressed that Lib Dem MEPs would have liked to go further in the area of market liberalisation.
Commenting after the breakthrough deal between the European Parliuament and Member States was announced, George Lyon MEP (UK, Lib Dem), who negotiated the CAP reform on behalf of the ALDE Group, commented:
“In the Lyon report adopted by the Parliament back in 2010, I said that sustainability had to be at the heart of the new CAP if we are to address the huge challenges of a doubling of demand for food while at the same time reducing the use of scarce resources.
“I believe we have a reform that takes a huge step down the road towards delivering a more sustainable EU agriculture and it signals quite clearly that we are breaking from the past with a more targeted use of financial support in return for farmers delivering key public goods.
“We also introduced measures to stamp out the abuse by so called ‘slipper farmers’ who were getting payments but not doing any active farming.
“The one area I have deep concerns about was Council refusing to negotiate in areas where the MFF conclusions strayed into co-decision matters such as capping of farm payments, flexibility to move money between pillars 1 and 2 and the crisis reserve.
“This is a deliberate attempt by the Council to steal back co- decision powers given to the Parliament by the Lisbon Treaty and it is unacceptable to MEPs.”