New members to get guaranteed proportion of average EU farm support: proposal

Czech politicians have welcomed suggestions from the European Commission about how to shake up its farm subsidy policy, the Common Agricultural Policy. A main plank of the proposed changes released on Thursday is for discrimination in support between old member states and new ones, such as the Czech Republic, to be abolished after 2013. The proposal includes a guarantee that farmers in all states would be paid a proportion of average EU farm support. At the moment Czech farmers say they get around a third less in support than farmers in richer west European countries. The Commission proposal also suggests there should be no transition period to the new subsidy framework. One worry for Czech farmers is the possibility that a ceiling could be put on payments to large farms. Czech farm holdings are six times larger than the EU average.

Author: Chris Johnstone