Terry Wynn's involvement in the Land Use and Food Policy Intergroup

Reforming the CAP!

1990 - the beginning!

Terry joined this Inter-group in 1990, then chaired by Sir Fred Catherwood, when it was looking at a number of interesting issues relating to the Common Agricultural Policy, the budget, international trade, budgetary control etc.  It had then just produced a report called "The Secret Garden - Producer Power in Politics".   

The paper argued that the key to effective reform of the CAP lay in the mechanisms for influencing and deciding agricultural policy.  It identified a European 'secret garden' - the monopoly of big producers' influence and power over agricultural policy - which has created a closed system.   The paper called for a reform of the policy making process, and suggested the conversion of the CAP into a Common Food Policy (CFP).   

Later that year the group met with Commissioner Andriessen who was then dealing with foreign trade and the GATT round.  It was agreed the Inter-group would lobby to get more European Parliament power in the GATT round.   

In 1990 and 1991, LUFPIG also put together a major report written by 6 top agricultural economists.   

The report recommended that to enable policy formulation, research was needed in 5 areas directly linked to agricultural reforms: Social Policy, Food Policy, Land Use Policy and environmental considerations; Trade Policy (investigate potential price impacts, pattern of community agriculture); and finally Budgetary considerations.   

The report was eventually known as the Marsh / Tangermann report "The Future of Farming in Europe".  The main reforming idea was to dissociate production from subsidy and to reduce the number of farmers on the land known as the 'BOND' scheme.  This proposed a scheme whereby EU farmers would convert their subsidies over a ten, or fifteen year period into a financially backed bond, which they could then either use to reinvest in their farm or cash in for a lump sum.  Although looked at closely by the Commission the scheme was not considered politically acceptable at the time.   

1992 - 1999 Chairmanship 

In 1992 Sir Fred Catherwood retired as an MEP and asked Terry to take over as chairman.  The Intergroup was therefore closely involved in the 1992 McSharry Reforms of the CAP, and in the GATT Round which followed.  It has also looked over the years at agriculture and the environment, the reform of the sugar regime, looking into the institutional aspects of agricultural decision making and the next Treaty changes and agriculture in Central and Eastern Europe and the European Economic Area.   

It has also participated in the City Slickers programme, first set up in the US to seek transparency in Agricultural payments and which is now being mirrored in the EU www.farmsubsidy.com

Chairman again 2004-6 

After chairing the EP Budget's Committee for 5 years from 1999-2004 Terry took over the chairmanship of LUFPIG again from Jan Mulder and 2005/6 have been spent looking in detail at the transparency of CAP payments, the future financing of  agriculture, and how CAP policies affect food and healthy eating policies.   

Conclusion 

One of the main objectives of the Intergroup has been to provide a forum for discussion for MEPs who are not agricultural specialists but affected by the operation of the CAP in their interest areas.  They have therefore continually held meetings with a number of key players: Commissioners, Ministers of Agriculture, NGOs, US politicians etc.  They have also had an open working relationship with a number of corporate food companies, trade associations and unions, who have supported the work of the Intergroup over the years both financially and through research back up. This has enabled it to hire staff to coordinate the Intergroup's work and act as a liaison between MEPs and sponsors.   

May 2006

 


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