Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-02-15-Speech-4-045"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, nuts, to which we should also add the locust bean, are one of southern Europe’s most common crops. The only specific aid from which they have benefited in the past and from which they benefit today is limited to cofinancing under plans to improve quality and marketing which expired at the end of last year and which the Commission is now proposing to extend by another year. This Commission proposal has come about as a result of the acknowledgement, as made by the Commission itself in the preamble to its proposal, that other measures, for which the sector is also eligible, have not been sufficient or directly applicable to nuts. The Commission therefore promised to present new proposals in a report that it would publish by the end of 2000, which it has still not done. It makes no sense to extend the already scarce measures in place by another year and to say nothing else about the future of this sector, still less so in that the sector is undergoing a particular crisis due to the extremely strong competition from third countries. What would make sense is for nuts to be treated as a separate sector within the Common Organisation of the Markets in fruits and vegetables. This was why, as a matter of fact, at the time of the proposal on the new COM in fruits and vegetables, the European Parliament adopted an amendment requesting the Commission to present proposals that would provide the nut sector with permanent measures and aid of the kind that exist for other agricultural sectors. This is what the rapporteur is proposing and this is what we hope the Commission will put right. In the short term, until these future measures materialise, the most prudent course of action to adopt would be to extend existing aid not by one year but by two, as the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development has suggested."@en1

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