Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-10-25-Speech-4-124"

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"Mr President, the Commission proposal to create a single annual premium is to be welcomed because it will simplify farmer’s incomes and provide stability. Nevertheless, it contains various loopholes and shortcomings. The first is the unsatisfactory level of the proposed premium of EUR 21, which continues to reflect the discrimination against the small ruminants sector in favour of large ruminants. The proposal of EUR 30 that the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development approved will, therefore, resolve this discrimination. Nevertheless, if this proposal does not have the support of the majority of this House, I will, of course, support any other level that contributes to this objective. The second shortcoming lies in the continuing discrimination between sheep bred for meat on the one hand and ewes and she-goats on the other, with the latter receiving only 80% of the premium given to meat sheep. The proposals approved by the Committee on Agriculture will also remedy this unfairness, by making all premiums the same. The third shortcoming concerns the non-inclusion of flexibility mechanisms that would enable the Member States to make adjustments to national and regional situations. In this sense, the Committee on Agriculture’s amendments, which are intended to create an additional premium in certain situations, will be of enormous benefit to the implementation of the COM and will make the scheme more realistic and more feasible. As the Commission itself acknowledges in the explanatory statement, sheep and goat breeders have the lowest incomes of all meat producers with the additional disadvantage that 80% of the animals eligible for premiums are located in parts of the European Union that are both remote and poor. For this reason, and also because there is a deficit in this sector, which can only meet 80% of domestic consumption, it is becoming very important to make the changes I have just outlined and to increase the supplementary premium for Objective 1 regions. I therefore hope, that the House approves the Commission proposal and that when the Ministers for Agriculture meet in Council, they do their job properly, and accept the positions of this House. Lastly, I wish to pay tribute to Mr Adam, who has been an excellent rapporteur, who has put in a great deal of hard work and whom I thank for his generous support."@en1

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