Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-07-08-Speech-4-008"

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"Mr President, could I begin by offering my commiserations to my German colleagues and congratulations to my Spanish colleagues after last night’s excellent match. I would like to set out what I believe are the two fundamental questions that we need to answer in terms of CAP reform. What is the CAP for? Why is it still relevant in the 21st century? In these times of economic crisis, debt-ridden public finances and austerity budgets, it is vital that the CAP provides answers to these questions if we want taxpayers to continue providing much needed support for our farmers in the future. One of the fundamental challenges society faces is how to feed a growing world demand for food, estimated by the FAO to double by the year 2050. The big challenge of course is how to meet that doubling of food demand against a background of less land, less water and less energy due to the impact of climate change. How do we square that circle and avoid the perfect storm predicted by UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir John Beddington, when he said in 2009 ‘we head into a perfect storm in 2030, because all of these things are operating on the same time frame’? If we do not address this we can expect major destabilisation, an increase in rioting and potentially significant problems with international migration as people move out to avoid food and water shortages. That is the scale of the challenge. I believe that tackling climate change and making our agriculture production more sustainable are objectives which must be at the heart of the reform going forward. They are vital steps if we are to continue to have guaranteed food security for our European citizens and still make a contribution to meeting growing global demand for food. Reform should also encourage green growth through the development of small-scale renewables such as wind, biomass, biogas and second generation biofuels. That would help to create jobs and provide real opportunities for farmers to diversify and earn extra income. We also must respond to the call for greater environmental protection by ensuring farmers have an opportunity to participate in agri-environmental schemes with a goal of a majority of farmland being covered by such a scheme over the period of the next reform. By using the carrot, rather than the stick – that is a very important principle, the carrot encouragement rather than the big stick of rules and regulations – you will get buy-in from farmers to this agenda. Fairness also has to be a key driver of the reform: fair to old Member States as well as new Member States in the distribution of direct payment envelopes across the EU; a fair distribution among farmers and Member States by bringing historic payments to an end by 2020. It cannot be right and justified to continue making payments based on how you farmed some 10 years ago. We also need a fair deal for farmers in the food chain to be able to take on the power of the multiples. So, fairness, and the principle of fairness, must be at the heart of the reform going forward. We also have to address the issue of market volatility, but on this I would urge some caution. Yes, we still need intervention and private aids to storage. Yes, we need to examine other tools such as risk insurance and future markets. Yes, we need our special reserve budget line to fund action in terms of crisis. But we should reject any thought of a return to the wide-scale management of the markets we saw in the past. That has already been tried and it has failed. I would suggest that we do not wish to go down that road again. In conclusion, I am confident that this House will back our reforms, modernising the CAP, setting it on a new course to deliver on the new challenges of the 21st century. By backing this report the Parliament will shape the debate, set the agenda, and I would invite the Commissioner to use our ideas to inform his proposals on CAP reform when he publishes them in November this year."@en1

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