APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE
The House of Lords European Union Committee will
be conducting an Inquiry, via its Environment and Agriculture
Sub-Committee (Sub-Committee D), into the future policy direction
of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The Inquiry has been motivated by two EU-level policy
initiatives. First, it has been agreed that the 2003 Reform of
the CAP (Council Regulation 1782/2003 of 29 September 2003 and
its implementing Regulations) will be subject to a "Health
Check" in 2008. Second, the European Council decided, when
adopting the 2007-13 Financial Perspectives in December 2005,
that the Commission should undertake a full budgetary review to
be published in 2008/9 (Council document 15915/05). Within that
review, one of the specific aspects of EU spending to be addressed
is the CAP.
The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural
Development, Mariann Fischer Boel, has referred consistently in
recent months to these policy initiatives as representing "one
vision, two steps", in which the 2008 Health Check will involve
an "adjustment" of the current situation while the budgetary
review will focus on the shape of the CAP post-2013.
The purpose of the Committee's inquiry is to assess
the progress thus far of the 2003 reform and to consider whether,
and if so what, policy changes at the EU level are needed in both
the short and the longer term. In the light of the evidence taken,
the Committee aims to produce a report which will respond to the
Commission's forthcoming Communication on the Health Check and
at the same time provides an input into the debate over the longer-term
direction of the CAP within the context of the budgetary review.
Against this background, the Committee hereby invites
you to submit written evidence to the Inquiry. The Committee would
find it helpful if, in addition to any general issues you may
wish to raise, you would focus on a number of specific issues.
It is recognised that those submitting evidence will not necessarily
have an interest in all the questions and may therefore wish to
be selective. The issues are:
1. What should be the long term objectives of
the CAP? Does the title "Common Agricultural Policy"
aptly fit your perceived objectives of the policy? What do you
consider to be the main pressures on the CAP as it currently is?
THE REFORMED CAP
2. What has been your experience so far with
the reformed CAP? What has worked well and less well? And where
can lessons be learned?
THE SINGLE PAYMENT SCHEME
3. Do you consider the Single Payment Scheme
to be a good basis for the future of EU agricultural policy? What
changes might be made at the EU level to the Single Payment Scheme,
including to the rules governing entitlements, in the short and/or
4. What short and longer-term changes are required
to the CAP's market mechanisms? Suggestions made by the Commission
have included re-examination of certain quotas, intervention,
set-aside, export refunds and private storage payments.
5. What is your view on the introduction of the
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)? Do you
consider that it is meeting its objectives thus far? Is it suitably
"strategic" in nature, meeting the needs of rural society
as a whole rather than being restricted to aiding the agricultural
industry? How well is it being co-ordinated with other EU and
national policies on regional and rural development?
6. Is there a case for a higher level of EU financing
of rural development? Do you have a view on the extension of compulsory
modulation from Pillar I (Direct Payments) to Pillar II (Rural
7. What benefits can the EU's World Trade Organisation
obligations create for EU agriculture and, consequently, for the
EU economy as a whole?
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE
8. To what extent has the system of cross-compliance
contributed to an improved level of environmental protection?
How is it linking with other EU policy requirements such as the
Water Framework Directive?
9. How can the CAP contribute to mitigation of,
and adaptation to, climate change? What do you consider the role
of biofuels to be in this regard?
10. The Commissioner has expressed her dissatisfaction
at the financing agreement reached by the Member States at the
December 2005 Council. Do you consider the current budget to be
sufficient? Do you consider co-financing to be a possible way
forward in financing the Common Agricultural Policy?
11. What has been the impact on the CAP of the
2004 and 2007 enlargements and what is the likely impact of future
enlargements of the EU on the post-2013 CAP?
SIMPLIFICATION OF THE CAP AND OTHER ISSUES
12. How could the CAP be further simplified and
in what other ways would you like to see the Common Agricultural
Policy changed in the short and/or the long term?