Commissioner Fischler's Expectations of the Mid-Term Review:
Published in Spring 2002
Agenda 2000 - Time for a Mid-Term Review
"Agenda 2000 has been one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging reform programmes of the common agricultural policy yet. By putting forward a new approach to farm policy, it equips our rural economies to face the challenges that lie ahead. The reform is a further step towards sustainability and supporting the broader rural economy. It is not a sectoral approach. On the contrary, it recognises the multifunctional role of agriculture and ensures that farmers are rewarded for their services to society.
"At the 1999 Berlin Summit, where the Agenda 2000 was decided, the Commission was invited to examine in 2002 the functioning of the arable crops and oilseeds system, to monitor the beef market situation, to present in 2003 a report about the future of the milk quota system, and to submit an account in 2002 on the development of agricultural expenditure.
"The Mid-Term Review, which will be tabled in June 2002, will give us the opportunity to examine whether the reform measures taken actually meet the aims set in 1999. Furthermore, we will assess whether the policy instruments need further adjustments, and notably how to find ways to "green" the CAP, and foster the second pillar of the common agricultural policy by shifting more funds to rural development.
"Following the Agenda 2000 reforms, CAP expenditure has been fixed until 2006. Our budget freeze has been maintained in the face of low commodity prices and considerably increased spending by certain trading partners. By ensuring its competitiveness, the new CAP strengthens the position of the European Union agricultural sector in the present round of World Trade Organisation talks and helps to prepare the European Union for enlargement".