A total of EUR 214.6 million of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States is claimed back as a result of a decision adopted by the European Commission. The money returns to the Community budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure. Member States are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds.
Under this latest decision funds will be recovered from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia.
Today Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, launched a new Healthy Eating Campaign for European school children. Under the slogan "Eat it, Drink it, Move it" three roadshows will tour seven European countries, giving children a chance to take part in educational activities and games. The European Commission also launched an interactive website, competitions and other events with one key goal in mind: to change children's eating habits for the better. To help get the message across, Belgian tennis champion Justine Henin and 8 year old Guinness record holder Rosolino Cannio will be lending their support.
The Healthy Eating Campaign will run alongside the EU's School Fruit
Scheme and School Milk Scheme, important initiatives for a more balanced
diet and healthier eating habits amongst children.
The Healthy Eating Campaign takes the message: Eat it, Drink it, Move it right into schools. Over the course of eight weeks, the roadshow will travel through Belgium, France, the UK, Ireland, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland. Each roadshow will visit two schools a day. In total the healthy eating activities will reach 18,000 kids in 180 schools. The message to deliver is: Eat well, because it's fun to be fit.
In parallel with the roadshow, an interactive treasure hunt game will be running over the 8 weeks on the EU's Tasty Bunch web site, where all EU schoolchildren aged 8 to 15 could try to win a number of sports items.
A recent Eurobarometer survey showed three quarters of respondents "totally agreeing" that "there seem to be more overweight children these days than five years ago". Indeed, around 22 million kids are overweight in the EU, of which 5 million are obese.
The Council has adopted today a Regulation to replace the current
legislation setting out the rules on the authorisation of plant protection
products. This Regulation, based on a Commission proposal, will result in an
increased protection of human health and of the environment in the use of
plant protection products. At the same time, the new Regulation will also
lead to a better protection of agricultural production and extend and deepen
the single market of plant protection products.
Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development,
today set out in detail the latest stage of the Commission's ongoing
campaign to help European Union dairy farmers out of the current market
crisis. The package of measures, presented today to the European Parliament,
follows up the Commission's report from July and looks at both short-term
measures and actions to secure the longer-term future of the dairy sector.
The Commission has already started the process of allowing Member States to
pay temporarily aid of up to EUR 15,000 to farmers. It also proposes that
the dairy sector should be covered by an emergency clause which already
exists for other farm sectors, to allow a quicker response to future market
disturbances. Changes to the operation of quota buying-up schemes by Member
States will make sure that bought up quota which is kept in the national
reserve should no longer count as part of the national quota when it comes
to deciding whether or not superlevy is due. If superlevy is then collected,
the part corresponding to the bought-up quota can be used for restructuring.
With a view to the longer term, the Commission will establish a working
group of experts from the Member States and the Commission. This will look,
among other things, at contractual relations between farmers and the dairy
industry, the results of the report into the workings of the food chain in
the dairy sector - which will be published before the end of the year - and
the possibility of a dairy futures market.
The European Commission launched a call for proposals for information measures related to the Common Agricultural Policy. The grants are mainly targeted at farmers' or rural development organisations, consumer associations, environmental protection associations, public authorities of the Member States, the media and universities, who wish to carry out communication actions related to the CAP.
Blog entry: "The next steady steps for the dairy sector" (22/09/2009)
"Next steps for the dairy sector: replies to the European Parliament"
(Statement on the Dairy Sector to the European Parliament plenary,
Blog entry: "A tough decision" (15/09/2009)
"A changed climate for making agricultural policy" (Informal meeting of
Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers Sweden, Växjö, 15/09/2009)
Blog entry: "Time to break the logjam over GMOs" (09/09/2009)
"The challenges ahead for the CAP" (Comments to the European Parliament
Agriculture Committee, Brussels, 01/09/2009)
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