by N. Peter Kamer
Withdrawing the proposal for the reform of the massive EU’s farming subsidies programme (CAP) is off the table. If it was ever on. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen let the Greens know, that she is not considering a withdrawal. Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said, when asked, ‘….we are not considering any alternatives, I have a clear mandate to finalise this CAP dossier.’ And in a debate on EU’s food policy, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, assured member states delegations, ‘we are not considering the withdrawal of the CAP proposal.
In an interview, Timmermans had hinted at the possibility of a withdrawal of the CAP, because he is not very happy with the final position of the European Parliament on the original Commissions proposal. Timmermans also said in another interview, that he was very disappointed at the negotiating mandates of both Council and EP. His words caused a ruckus on the EP’s side, ‘his comment is unacceptable as it does not respect the decisions made by the co-legislators’. Last week the negotiators of the EP and the Council started negotiations on the reform of the CAP.
Also on the other side, member states reacted with irritation to Timmermans’s comments and raised the issue during the monthly Agrifish EU Council. German agricultural minister Julia Klockner, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the Agrifish Council, did not mince her words. She said that the suggestion from Timmermans that the CAP proposal now on the table was in some ways a step backwards was ‘utter nonsense’.
Poor Frans. As 1st Vice-President in the Juncker Commission it was much easier for him. The crafty Juncker gave him from time to time some hot chestnuts. Since Von der Leyen took over we did not hear much of the 1st Vice-President. Till now…