Luxembourg, 26 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Farm ministers from countries in the European Union have agreed on a new Common Agricultural Policy. European Commission spokesman Gregor Kreuzhuber said the ministers reached the agreement today during a meeting in Luxembourg. The agreement comes after the ministers failed in two previous meetings to break down opposition to a deal from a farming lobby led by France.
The main plank of the EU Farm Commission's proposals has been to sever the link between farmers' production levels and their subsidies beginning in 2005.
Nearly half of all annual EU spending goes to the system of farm subsidies. The European Commission has argued that the bloc cannot afford to keep the current system when 10 more countries join the EU next year.