CLA lobbies MEPs in Brussels on CAP reform

29 October 2013

Henry Robinson and Ross Murray, accompanied by CLA European Public Affairs Adviser Louise Banbury, held constructive meetings with UK MEPs Julie Girling, Conservative Agriculture Spokesperson, and Anthea McIntyre, Conservative Employment Spokesperson, among other meetings.

Mr Robinson said: "We talked about a wide range of CAP reform issues including the timings of the European Union Budget announcement and of the subsequent CAP reform implementation, the definition of 'active farmer', the proposed greening of the CAP and the need for clearer definitions of Ecological Focus Areas and permanent pasture in the European Commission's proposals.

"We found them very receptive and sympathetic to our viewpoint. It is important to lobby the MEPs on the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development because they have co-decision powers, along with the Council of the European Union, on the future of the CAP."

Mr Murray said: "We lobby through the European Landowners' Association (ELO) on European Union issues such as CAP reform, and have been very active in the ELO's policy formation. This is a critical juncture for CAP reform and it is valuable for the CLA to lobby UK MEPs directly on amendments to the Commission's CAP Reform proposals."

CLA Hampshire Chairman Hallam Mills said: "Our CLA members in Hampshire and surrounding counties are both highly successful farmers and devoted conservationists. Our MEPs must be armed with local facts and knowledge to hold their own in the EU arena.

"By engaging with top politicians in Europe, the CLA plays a vital role in ensuring that our members' interests are articulated and protected. The UK needs to produce food in sufficient quantities, at a reasonable cost, to avoid excessive imports. We can do this and at the same time protect and enhance the environment if the right balance is struck in European negotiations: that is why the CLA is leading and informing the debate on CAP reform."