EU: Trade reform - "We must build on Doha" says Franz Fischler
"It is our responsibility to make good what we have decided in Doha" said EU Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler in Geneva, after meeting Stuart Harbinson, the new Chair of the Agricultural negotiations in WTO. The Commissioner underlined the EU's full commitment to respecting the tight timetable for the negotiations. "We want to build on the success in Doha to get through with the process of reform of trade in agriculture. The EU has pursued a consistent policy on internal reform since 1992, moving the emphasis from support of products to support for the producer. This means that we have been and will continue to be able to take a consistent and constructive line in the negotiations towards a better world agricultural trading system. I find it worrying that the US have been less consistent in the series of emergency packages and in the way the Agriculture Bill seems to be emerging in contradiction with the positions they express in Geneva. In the EU, on the other hand, the reform process will continue in an unchanged direction. I believe that we should use the mid-term review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in June to redirect more EU money from the market organisations to rural development measures which are de-coupled from production. These subsidies are not trade distorting and would thus strengthen our international position in the new global Round. Being consistent in policy reform and being able to compromise are the keys for the success of the Doha Development Agenda.", he stressed.
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