EU Looks At Ag Subsidy Cuts
"(Reuters) - European Union negotiators agreed on Monday that large farms could lose up to 30 percent of their current EU subsidy payments in future - but no more than that - as part of reforms to the bloc's 50 billion euro-a-year farm policy."
"One of the reform's main objectives is to replace the current link between farm payments and historical production levels in many parts of Europe, in favour of subsidies based on the size of agricultural holdings.
The present system disproportionately benefits those who in the years 2000-2002 had the largest output, for example industrial-scale grain producers in France's Paris basin.
The change could have seen Europe's largest farms lose up to 40 percent of their current subsidies, but negotiators agreed to put an upper limit on such losses at no more than 30 percent, according to an EU official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The changes are designed to make the 50-year-old common agricultural policy (CAP) fairer, to help justify the huge sums paid to farmers each year."
"Agriculture will consume nearly 40 percent of the bloc's 960 billion euro ($1.3 trillion) budget for 2014-2020 - the period covered by the reform - ensuring it remains the biggest single item of EU expenditure.
Europe's biggest agricultural producer, France, will continue to scoop the largest share of CAP funds at around 8 billion euros a year, followed by Spain and Germany each with about 6 billion annually."