CAP Reform - Submission to the Commission
The European Commission is reviewing the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) again. Despite the fact the reform is less than 2 years old, it is clear Eurocrats created more complexity not less. As chair of the European Conservative's Rural Economy Working Group and MEP for Scotland, I want to see a simple CAP that allows farmers to get on with the job. That is why I have written to Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan recommending a number of significant changes to the CAP. These recommendations, which you can find attached to this web page, are based on comments from farmers and NFU Scotland, and cover issues such as recognising human error is not a crime and should not be punished as such, ensuring that minor infringements are treated in a proportional way, making sure that the greening proposals don't undo the green approach already adopted by farmers, addressing the deficiencies in the application of crop diversification, and examining the role Court of Auditors in the setting of sanctions.
The Conservatives are committed to a simpler, reformed CAP for farmers in Scotland and across Europe. That is why, along with this submission, I have secured a technical meeting with experts from the Agriculture Commissioner's team to address the serious concerns of Scottish farmers. Ahead of that meeting I want to hear from farmers affected by the CAP reform. I want to hear how the policy is impacting upon farming, examples of unintended consequences of particular aspects of the policy and ideas for simplification.