Farm budget should be partially repatriated

14 February 2007

Farm budget should be partially repatriated

“Decentralisation of European agricultural subsidies and more power for the member states to determine their own agricultural policies,” is, according to SP Member of the European Parliament Kartika Liotard, the thrust of the parliamentary report to be voted on at this week's Plenary in Strasbourg: "It's an exceptional report, almost the whole of which we can support”, she said.

Kartika LiotardTwenty percent of European agricultural subsidies should be paid by the member states themselves, syas the proposal. Despite the across-the-board call for less interference from Europe, however, Ms Liotard fears that the European Parliament may vote against this form of decentralisation. “Last year all the other Dutch parties voted against such proposals,” she recalled. “I hope that this time they will match deeds to words,” she added, referring to the broadly-held opinion that the EU should stay out of affairs which the member states are better equipped to deal with for themselves.

Following the rejection of the European Constitution, “less Brussels wherever possible” became the mantra for all parties. “Now that the Commission is proposing to hand control of a part of the huge agriculture budget back to the member states we should welcome this. The proposal is not perfect, but for us it's good enough to be worthy of support,” Liotard said.

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