(Brussels, 12 October 2017) Ahead of the last trilogue on agricultural issues in the Omnibus Regulation, FoodDrinkEurope warns that amendments, which go beyond simplification, could significantly change the 2013 political agreement on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Major changes proposed by the European Parliament and the Council should be given appropriate consideration and be preceded by an impact assessment, in line with Better Regulation. Hence, such changes should not be accepted.
In particular, FoodDrinkEurope is concerned by the proposal of the co-legislators to introduce substantial derogations from EU competition law in favour of a particular segment of the food supply chain, which would have far reaching effects on the operation of competition law and on the market orientation of EU agriculture.
Furthermore, the proposal to extend the sugar value sharing mechanism to other agricultural sectors is part of the Commission initiative to improve the Food Chain, currently subject to an impact assessment and a public consultation procedure. Before the public consultation closes on 17 November, the co-legislators would have by-passed the civil society.
FoodDrinkEurope considers that there should not be any additional derogations from EU competition law for farmers and their organisations, rather the existing ones could be clarified. The timetable and the scope of the Omnibus, i.e. a financial regulation, are not the right framework for changes that are not mere technical simplification. Market orientation and structural measures would be more effective in fostering the efficiency and competitiveness of EU farmers.