EU Common Agricultural Policy must be scrapped

23 September 2005

EU Common Agricultural Policy must be scrapped

A review of European agriculture subsidies, which account for more than 40 percent of the entire EU budget, is urgently needed. These subsidies go in great part to major corporations such as Schiphol Airport, Mars, Heineken and DSM. The lion's share is paid to the very biggest farmers and to transnational food and transport companies, while at the same time small farmers both within the EU and in agriculture-dependent developing countries are disadvantaged.

Krista van VelzenSP Member of Parliament Krista Van Velzen said, “It is ridiculous and to most people inexplicable that even, for example, police forces are receiving agricultural subsidies. The policy entirely misses its target.” Data from the Ministry of Agriculture, made public at the request of the Labour Party-linked international solidarity organisation the Evert Vermeer Stichting, underlines this conclusion. The dairy foods corporation Campina, for example, received during the period 1999-2003 more than € 600 million, while in the same few years Avebe, Friesland Coberco and Nestlé Netherlands each got around € 400 million.

As Ms Van Velzen said, “This subsidy policy should be immediately scrapped. According to the government's statement on the State of the European Union, which sets out the Netherlands' plans for further European co-operation, the Dutch contribution to the EU for next year could rise to € 300 per inhabitant. That is unacceptable.”

By directly cutting the agricultural subsidies of the twenty biggest beneficiaries, this figure could be reduced by more than half a billion euros, significantly lowering the contribution per head.

Krista van Velzen plans next week to ask farm minister Cees Veerman to bring pressure to bear in Europe for a renationalisation of agricultural subsidies.

You are here