Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-07-08-Speech-4-059"

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"Europe will still need an effective and common agricultural policy after 2013. This is why the EU’s agricultural budget should at least be maintained at the current level. Europe has a particular responsibility to guarantee food safety in the world. This is because it is in Europe that the safest food can be produced under the most stringent environmental protection standards. Therefore, the main task of the CAP is to preserve the agricultural production capacity of the European Union. It is therefore vital to ensure that direct payments do not decrease. In the case of the rural development support under the second pillar, it must be ensured that they are used primarily for agricultural purposes. Farmers should be protected from the extreme fluctuations in intervention prices that have been common over the past few years. We need market intervention tools and, in certain sectors, such as wine and milk, measures are needed to limit supply. These would reduce farmers’ losses arising from price fluctuations. The European food trade is much more concentrated than the food processing industry or agricultural production. Very often, hundreds of farmers are competing with a large hypermarket chain, and their bargaining position is much worse. This is why we must help improve cooperation between farmers. However, this requires an exemption from the stringent EU competition rules in agriculture. Third country imports should be subjected to the same stringent environmental protection, food safety, animal welfare and other regulations as European farmers."@en1

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