IEEP Report on the New EP Committees

Irish voters are preparing to go to the polls today to vote on the Lisbon Treaty. If the Treaty is rejected by voters in the referendum, then it cannot be ratified at EU level. If there is a ‘yes’ vote, then, subject to parliamentary ratification of the Treaty in the Czech Republic and Poland, this would require the introduction of changes to the EU policy making process.

Currently, legislative proposals on the CAP are put forward by the Commission, whilst the Council of EU agriculture ministers decides whether to adopt, amend or reject them. The European Parliament's role in this process is restricted to providing official 'Opinions' on the proposals submitted by the Commission and subsequent Council amendments. However, if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, the European Parliament would have powers of co-decision (with the Council) on future legislative proposals; including those which will determine the shape of the CAP post-2013.

Thus, the role of the Parliament could become increasingly important in the CAP decision making process. A recent report undertaken by IEEP for the statutory nature and landscape conservation agencies in the UK provides an overview of the new agriculture (details below), environment, fisheries and budgets Committees in the European Parliament, since elections took place earlier this year.

To obtain details of all MEPs on all of the EP committees including links to infomation on their membership, click here.

Agriculture and Rural Development Committee

The AGRI Committee held its opening session on Monday 20 July and elected first-time MEP Paolo De Castro (S&D, Italy) as its chairman. He is a former Italian Agriculture Minister (2006-2008 and 1998-2000), a professor of Agricultural Economics, and played a major role in the European negotiations for the ‘Agenda 2000’ CAP reforms. The following vice-chairs have been elected by the Committee: the 32-year old Rares-Lucian Niculescu (EPP, Romania); the famous anti-globalisation activist José Bové (Greens/EFA, France); Marit Paulsen (ALDE, Sweden), a well-known figure in the Swedish public debate on environmental and food quality issues; and Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR, Poland).

The political groups have also agreed on their ‘coordinators’ for each policy area, i.e. the group’s spokesperson for each Committee, who also has a decisive influence on how the group votes in Committee and subsequently in Plenary. On agriculture policy, Bavarian farmer Albert Dess will be the coordinator for the EPP. For the S&D Group, former Portuguese Farm Minister Luis Capoulas Santos retains the position which he held in the previous legislature. He was rapporteur on the Health Check proposals. The newly elected former NFU Scotland President George Lyon will be the coordinator for the ALDE Group. The new German MEP, organic farmer Martin Häusling, will be coordinator for the Greens/EFA Group.

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PUBLICATION DATE

02 Oct 2009

AUTHOR

IEEP

FURTHER INFORMATION

The Institute for European Environmental Policy coordinates CAP2020. It is an independent not for profit institute which undertakes research in a number of policy areas including agriculture and rural development.


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