MEPs voted its position for negotiations with member states on the EU farm policy

The European Parliament voted in plenary session its position for negotiations with EU member states on the CAP reform. This will be the first EU farm policy reform shaped by Parliament as a full co-legislator with EU member states. Among other things, the Parliament voted in favour of the publication of beneficiaries of EU agricultural funding and inserted a list of land-owners.

MEPs voted the European Parliament's position for negotiations with EU member states on the new EU farm policy. The Parliament voted in favour that young farmers should get a 25% top-up payments for a maximum of 100 ha and member states could also use more money to support small farmers. In January 2013, most of the EU agriculture ministers pointed out that any advancement on the CAP reform is linked to an agreement at the next European summit on a Multi-annual financial framework (MFF) 2014-2020. In addition, Parliament backed Commission plans to cap direct payments to any one farm at €300,000, and substantially reduce payments to those receiving more than €150,000. However, this would not apply to cooperatives which redistribute payments to their members.

The European Parliament also agreed that 30% of national budgets for direct payments should be made conditional upon compliance with mandatory greening measures, but stress that these measures must be made more flexible and gradual. Moreover, differences among EU member states in the levels of EU funding for farmers should be reduced slightly faster than the European Commission proposed. No member state's farmers should receive less than 65% of the EU average.

MEPs want to give new tools and allow to negotiate input and delivery contracts to farmers organisations, in order to help farmers cope with market volatility and strengthen their price bargaining position. They also stressed the need to cut red tape and ensure that penalties for breaching rules are proportionate.