France and Germany want the European Union’s agriculture budget to be maintained at its current level once Britain leaves the bloc, the French and German farm ministers said on Monday.
According to Reuters, the ministers rejected a proposal from the European Commission for a reduction in the budget for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and said in a statement they would seek that “the budget allocated to the CAP be maintained at its current level for the 27 member states.”
The UK’s withdrawal next year will result in the removal of a net contributor to the bloc’s overall budget, creating pressure to reduce major spending areas like agriculture.
In May the EC proposed a 5% cut in farm subsidies in the 2021-2027 period to 365 billion euros.
France, by far the largest beneficiary of the CAP, called the Commission proposal “unacceptable” and has sought to rally other EU members to defend a stable farm budget.
Paris said in June it had won the support of 19 other countries but not Germany, the EU’s biggest economy and main contributor to the bloc’s budget.
“I welcome the fact that Germany has joined us in the opposition to the Commission’s proposed CAP budget,” French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert said in a statement on the common position found with his counterpart Julia Kloeckner.