Tag Archives: common agricultural policy

What European liberals have achieved over the past five years – the environment (part 2)

Environmental protection is one of those fields where international collaboration is key, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see so much being done at a European level…

Tackling single use plastics

ALDE successfully steered legislation through the European Parliament to limit the negative effects of single-use plastics, in particular marine litter. Single-use plastic products for which alternatives are readily available, such as cutlery, cotton bud sticks, plates, straws and beverage stirrers, will be banned from the EU market from 2021 so that they can be replaced by more sustainable alternatives. The consumption of several other items, for which no …

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This week in Europe: 18-21 November

Lib Dem MEP welcomes EU infrastructure investment

Liberal Democrat European transport spokesman, Phil Bennion, welcomed Tuesday’s adoption of an EU infrastructure package worth EUR 33 billion between 2014 and 2020.

The ‘Connecting Europe‘ programme will help fund and facilitate projects of common interest in the areas of energy, transport and infrastructure, and the West Coast Main Line corridor is among the identified priority projects that would be eligible for EU funding.

Phil Bennion MEP said:

When it comes to energy, transport and digital infrastructure it is important to look beyond national borders to exploit potential synergies and enable an easy

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This week in Europe: 21-24 January… no to milk lakes, yes to skilled migrants and bees

Proposals for a revised Common Agricultural Policy met with mixed emotions

On Wednesday, the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee (AGRI) voted on reform proposals to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). ALDE MEPs welcomed the votes in general as a major step towards a more sustainable European agricultural model. However, ALDE condemns the possible double payment for greening and agri-environmental measures and rejects a possible return to failed past policies of heavy market interventions.

Commenting after the votes, George Lyon MEP (UK, Liberal Democrat), ALDE team leader on the AGRI committee and shadow rapporteur on the direct payments report, said:

Today’s vote is a big

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Opinion: Focusing on the size of the EU budget is side-lining the wider issue of what it is spent on

The outcome of the EU budget summit last week was not as bad as it could have been. Cameron did not wield his veto, as he was threatening to just a few days before. And while EU Leaders did not reach a final agreement, progress was made towards reaching a compromise at the next Council meeting in early 2013. Crucially, the UK was able to drum up support for a real-terms freeze amongst like-minded member states such as Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. This is …

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The Independent View: Could Europe be an unlikely area of consensus for the revamped Coalition 2.0?

Following the bad blood within the coalition over the collapse of Lords reform and the constituency boundary review, there has been much speculation that the two parties will enact a policy ‘reset’ after conference season, with Oliver Letwin and Danny Alexander already reportedly working out the details. Most people looking for potential fresh common ground between Tories and Lib Dems would hardly place ‘Europe’ at the top of their list. However, while the parties are unlikely to ever see eye to eye on the EU, given political will, there are a number of areas of potential agreement.

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Opinion: The need for the CAP

This is the last article in a three part series of articles based on interviews with Lib Dem MEPs George Lyon and Phil Bennion about reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The other two articles can be found here and here.

One of the subjects which came up in the interviews was whether or not to have a CAP at all. Both of them made some interesting points about the subject.

Phil Bennion made the argument that it was necessary for the sake of global food security.

“We have to approach food security, not just from Europe’s point of view ...

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Opinion: The future of the CAP – specific proposals by Liberal Democrats

This is the second of three articles, based on interviews with Lib Dem MEPs Phil Bennion and George Lyon, covering the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This article addresses the specific changes they want made to current EU plans for reform.

When I spoke to him, Phil Bennion explained to me that, while Lib Dem MEPs are broadly supportive of the Commissioner’s plans for reform (the key idea being to start spending 30% of ‘pillar one’ payments on environmental elements), they have serious concerns with the detail.

An example he gave was the proposal for farmers to have …

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Opinion: The future of the CAP – general Liberal Democrat aims for reform

Last week I wrote about reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the work of two Liberal Democrat MEPs, Phil Bennion and George Lyon, in successfully driving that reform.

At the moment the CAP is going through another round of reforms ahead of the EU’s next financial precept.

Phil Bennion explained to me what the priorities of George Lyon and himself and other Lib Dems were when approaching these negotiations.

In his 1987 paper on the CAP Phil Bennion looked at ways of cutting payments to the largest farms on the basis that they had considerable economies of scale. …

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Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy: a Lib Dem success story

A fortnight ago I was in Strasbourg where I was lucky enough to speak to two Liberal Democrat MEPs from farming backgrounds about their work to reform the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Phil Bennion, Liberal Democrat MEP for the West Midlands, explained to me how the CAP, which has two pillars of funds, works.

“Pillar one is common to every country in the European Union, pillar two is devolved and co-funded by member states. In the UK we spend 80% of our pillar two money on environmental schemes, while other countries spend theirs on things …

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