Mon. Feb 17th, 2020

The EU prepares another “ax” against farmers



EU budgets pose a CAP cut of 14%. Brexit leaves a 12,000 million hole European leaders meet in Brussels on the 20th to reach an agreement for the next seven years

“Everyone is going to lose something with these budgets,” said a high community charge this week. Faced with the difficulty of squaring the circle, the permanent president of the Council, Charles Michel, unveiled a new proposal yesterday with the aim of unraveling the negotiations with a view to the next extraordinary summit on the 20th. In it, the Heads of State and Government Their only objective will be to agree on a new financial framework for the years 2021-27. The President of the Council proposes to allocate 1.074% of the Gross National Income (GNI) of the Twenty-seven member states to this European piggy bank, a figure only seven tenths above the initiative that the Finnish Presidency presented months ago, and that already in his moment raised the wrath of the countries of the South and those of the East, the main victims.

Although Michel’s new plan introduces some changes in the distribution of items, it retains an important ax for two of the allocations from which Spain is a special beneficiary: the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the funds received by the regions through the Cohesion Policy In the first flank the total cut of the funds amounts to 14%, while in the second case it reaches 12%.

Direct aids

As a consolation for our country, this last proposal contemplates a slight increase in the direct aid that farmers receive with respect to the Finnish initiative – a request from Spain – in exchange for reducing aid to rural development that is distributed through the autonomous communities . Before the hurricane in the Spanish countryside, Spain is expected to raise battle and ally with other countries with strong agricultural interests, such as France and Poland. “We are very supportive of greening the CAP but it is very difficult without having the means,” said Spanish diplomatic sources in relation to the requirements on the fight against climate change that European farmers will be required to qualify for. money.

The war is served and very few consider it feasible to reach an agreement next week, despite Michel’s determination. This last proposal is halfway to the original initiative of the Community Executive of 1.11% of the GNI and also of the wishes of the Eurocamara that asks for 1.3% and threatens to overthrow the agreement. These figures are also above what the group of so-called frugal states, the Nordic countries, who are battling so that the figure does not exceed 1% since they claim that before a smaller club, after the departure of United Kingdom, also corresponds to a smaller budget. The British slam, the country that contributed the most to the European budget after Germany, has meant a scuffle of between 10,000 and 12,000 million euros a year that nobody seems eager to fill.

Too many fronts

This new budgetary framework is not only a war of numbers but also of priorities, given the need to finance new European challenges such as the fight against illegal immigration, Defense, R&D, climate change and the energy transition or digitalization. New remains that can undermine the policies considered traditional (agriculture and regional funds) that have always accounted for 70% of European resources. Given this bobbin lace, the European Chamber proposes that the budgetary framework be less dependent on the contributions of the States and financed through the so-called own resources. Michel collects the initiative of a plastic tax that seems to have the approval of the capitals.

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