CAP negotiators continue to inch towards a final compromise on the next deal, as the latest round of talks failed to produce any major breakthroughs.
Billed as a crunch ‘super trilogue’, no concrete results emerged from the latest meeting of the European Parliament, Council and Commission.
European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski attended the meeting, alongside Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans.
Wojciechowski said all sides had “left our trenches” and shown a willingness to agree on a final reform package.
He said the Commission remained committed to reaching an overall political compromise by spring 2021 to ensure a timely introduction of the new reforms in January 2023.
The European Parliament was less positive in its assessment.
While the talks may have brought all sides closer to an agreement, more flexibility was needed from the Council for a quick deal.
“Each party showed a commitment to reaching a compromise, which clearly paid off,” Parliament’s head negotiator Norbert Lins, a German MEP, said.
“However, we will need further debates, for instance on capping of direct payments and redistributive payments, as the Council was not flexible enough yet to allow us to make substantial progress in these areas.”
Lins said he was optimistic of finalising negotiations with the current president of the Council, Portuguese Agriculture Minister Maria do Céu Antunes.
Minister do Céu Antune believed the completion of CAP reform was closer after the latest round of talks.
“Today [Friday 26 March] was a good day for European agriculture,” she said.
“The presidency will continue committed and open minded to continue working on building balance positions between the three institutions, in order to reach the final agreement on the reform of the CAP.”
The next round of talks are provisionally scheduled for 16 April, 21 April and 23 April.