This week the Farmers Guardian in the United Kingdom reports that European farming groups are calling on the European Commission to ensure that the Common Agricultural Policy doesn't hinder proposals. Like lawmakers in the United States about to embark on the next farm bill, policy makers in Europe are looking for ways to insure the viability and value of the CAP from 2014 to 2020.
The groups told commissioners they wanted farm programs to be simpler. In addition, they told commissioners that the EU agricultural sector needs to "confront the two major challenges of ensuring food security in the face of rising world demand."
Farm groups are worried that "greening" proposals being discussed in the region don't account for farming and potential impacts on food production which could cut food availability.
The CAP, which is a significant part of all EU spending, has been under fire in the past for its complexity, and it's size. Moves to simplify payments may also come with cuts too, as Europe faces more pressures on the Euro. The groups told European commissioners that they want to see a strong CAP, with a "stronger budget behind it," according to the report. In addition they say that support is important to ensuring a "dynamic, innovative and more profitable agricultural sector."
Controversy over the CAP in the World Trade Organization continues with a dispute over the amount each farmer receives. Given the region-wide budget problems facing Europeans, the size of the CAP could be in jeopardy, but that remains to be seen.
These Euro farm groups are just starting their dialogue with officials in a process that will take some time to flesh out and complete.