Ahead of a crucial vote in the European Parliament's Committee on
Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), the European Committee of the
Regions is calling for Europe's regions to retain their key role in
managing and implementing the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
European Parliament's AGRI committee will on Monday afternoon hold an
exchange of views on three CAP proposals, which will be voted on in the
coming weeks. In its current form, the
AGRI report on CAP strategic plans regulation
drafted by Esther Herranz Garcia
marginalise and jeopardise the role and autonomy of Europe's regions in
managing the CAP.
The CoR is particularly worried about the compromise proposed for article
110, which would limit the regions' role merely to implementing measures
established at national level. Applying such an
organisational approach to the European Agricultural Fund for Rural
Development would risk losing a wealth of managerial experience gained over
the years in many European regions, warns Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee
of the Regions (CoR).
"It is of utmost importance for the success of the next Common Agricultural
Policy that the compromises agreed among political coordinators in the
European Parliament contain a clear reference to the role of regions as
managing authorities of the future CAP", President Lambertz stresses.
The CoR advocates a policy that would maintain a direct link with the rural
areas through an active involvement of EU regions, including, crucially, a
role in defining and implementing agricultural and rural development
policies at local level.
"The fisheries committee in the European Parliament voted last week in
favour of strengthening the role and autonomy of European regions in the
management of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. It would be
regrettable if the AGRI committee were to vote in the opposite way for the
management of the CAP and its rural development fund. The support of the
European Parliament is therefore crucial at a moment when Member States are
defending a recentralisation of the CAP," explains the CoR rapporteur on
the reform of the CAP Guillaume Cros (FR/PES),
Vice-President of the Occitanie Region in France.