France Threatens EU Veto

French leaders are threatening to scuttle a European Union budget agreement if funding to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy is reduced.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the European Union’s system of agricultural programs and subsidies. The CAP covers a wide variety of farm policy, ranging from minimum prices for agricultural goods, to import tariffs, to land stewardship programs. As of 2006, the CAP made up about 47% of the EU’s budget.

In an effort to reduce spending and limit deficits, EU officials have been working on a long-term budget that would cut 50 billion euros from the budget. Seven billon euros would come from reductions to the CAP, a move that France (as the largest agricultural state within the EU and the greatest beneficiary of the CAP) has strenuously objected to.

“We oppose the proposed reduction to the Common Agricultural Policy, which has already been the subject of significant reduction efforts in the original proposal of the European Commission,” French EU Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement.

“France would not support a multiannual budget that does not maintain the funds of the Common Agricultural Policy.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer