COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY: VOLUNTARY
Letter from the Chairman to Lord Rooker,
Minister of State for Sustainable Farming and Food, Department
for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sub-Committee D (Environment and Agriculture)
has considered the proposed Council Regulation on this subject
(10014/06), together with your Explanatory Memorandum.
The increased flexibility which voluntary modulation
will provide is to be welcomed. We are concerned however at the
conditions which are being attached to this measure, which was
agreed by the European Council last December. In particular, the
requirement to maintain the internal rigidities which would preserve
minimum funding for Axes 1 and 3 appears to fly in the face of
the Council's agreement that additional funds resulting from voluntary
modulation shall not be subject to the minimum-spending-per-axes
rules which are applied to the rural development budget as a whole.
We consider that this condition should be firmly challenged by
the Government, together with the requirement that there should
be one national modulation rate, which appears to us to be at
variance with existing practice. We hope therefore that the Government
will adopt a robust stance on these two issues at least.
We wish to keep this matter under review and
ask that you keep us informed of progress.
20 July 2006