Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-06-12-Speech-3-236"

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"Mr President, since enlargement of the European Union is an undeniable reality, we must also take the opportunity it provides to produce a balance-sheet of the Union’s own policies, given that many inequalities still remain within the Union and that enlargement cannot be allowed to take place at the expense of the poorest members of the current European Union I feel that the proposal put forward by the Commission for the negotiations on farming is, on the whole, a reasonable one. The most controversial issue is that of the implementation of current direct aid, created by the 1992 and 1999 reforms of the CAP to compensate for the price reductions decided on at that time. Looking at the matter objectively, these countries are not entitled to receive this type of aid. This aid was created with the sole aim of compensating for price reductions. In the new Member countries, however, not only have there been no price reductions, there are even likely to be price increases. The mistake the Commission proposal makes is to suggest that the current model of direct aid should be maintained beyond 2006. The current system of direct aid under the CAP was justified in the medium-term to prevent falls in farmers’ incomes. This is unsustainable, however, in the long term because, since not all forms of farm production can continue to expand, it is highly discriminatory. By 2006, therefore, we need to create a new system of aid for agriculture based on farming’s multifunctional role in society. Will this mean, however, that no aid must now be granted to the new countries of the East? It does not. I feel that the Commission proposal to present 25% of aid at this stage will be acceptable if this aid is paid out on an objective and horizontal basis – for example, on the basis of farms or of areas – without tying this to specific crops or forms of production. If this is done, the proposal will already be more technically consistent and will be fairer, both in the present and in the future."@en1

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