05 Apr 2016
CAP BEYOND THE CRISIS – 05 APRILBrussels Daily
“CAP Beyond the Crisis – Paving the way for a sustainable growth for the EU”
Concluding Remarks – read speech in full here
The crisis in the agricultural markets, particularly in the dairy and pigmeat sectors, has been with us for some time now and looks likely to be with us for a while yet. It is useful, therefore, to have this opportunity to try to look beyond it and to see what the CAP can do, not alone for food producers but for society.
I have not dwelt to any degree on the measures that the Commission has taken to alleviate the pressure on producers, I think they are well understood at this stage. What I will say is that we have essentially deployed the full contents of the toolbox presented in the CAP. That includes measures never previously used such as the activation of Article 222 of the CMO, relating to cooperation among producers.
While how this measure will work is not in the hands of the Commission, I am anxious that it is used effectively as a contribution towards greater market balance in the dairy sector. It was with this in mind that I met last week with COPA-COGECA and the European Dairy Association (EDA) to outline how Article 222 of the CMO Regulation will and should work when it is activated by the Commission. I took the opportunity of those meetings to encourage its use with a view to ensuring that it would be an effective tool in contributing to a stabilisation of dairy production patterns.
I know that we will get beyond the crisis and when we do I want to encourage a greater understanding of the role of the CAP as a policy that delivers for society in the broadest sense, whether that it is in terms of providing jobs, growth and investment in the agri-food sector; meeting the needs of food security; through the provision of public environmental goods that contribute to the maintenance and protection of our rural landscapes or help to address the climate challenge that we must all face together.
I take confidence from the Eurobarometer surveys which show that the CAP enjoys the support of EU citizens. But I do not take that confidence for granted. It is something for which we must work, argue and explain.
With the right combination of policy and communication, I believe that we can secure the place of the Common Agricultural Policy as a policy that is central to the delivery of sustainable growth in the EU, today and tomorrow.
The CAP is not just about farming and food to deliver on the objective of food security. it is also about public goods for society, the means of implementation for which farmers are well placed to provide and it is also about valued-added jobs for rural areas.