Agricultural support only for farmers
Agricultural support from Europe will in future be allocated only to ‘real’ farmers, and organizations such as airports and real estate companies will be excluded. This is only one of the elements of the new Common Agricultural Policy CAO agreed on by member states, the European Parliament and European Commission yesterday. The objective of the new agreement is to ensure a more equitable distribution of agricultural support and a greener approach to the agricultural industry; a decision that was initially feared to result in a drop in support for farmers in Flanders. The new agreement however allows for a more flexible rollout of reforms concerning the distribution of funds and green sustainibility measures than the Commission originally proposed. A key element of the agreement is that farmers can now unite to form a stronger front when negotiating with customers. At present this is only allowed to a limited degree, as it is prohibited to form cartels, but in future recognized production organizations or branch organizations will be permitted to engage in collective negotiations on behalf of their customers. Another significant change will be the EC’s recognition of Flanders and Wallonia as autonomous public roleplayers with separate policies to uphold.