2:31pm Monday 28th October 2013
A CONSERVATIVE Euro MP has condemned a near £1m European Union “awareness campaign” telling people what a good job the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is doing.
The Commission has announced a continent-wide roadshow of presentations and screenings – and a series of internet packages – promoting supposed benefits of the controversial CAP. Much of the material is targeted at children and school curriculums.
Timothy Kirkhope, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The suggestion of almost £1m being spent to shout the praises of the re-hashed CAP, which is actually arguably worse than its predecessor, is preposterous.
“It has taken us a very long time to get to this stage and we are left with a policy which is not yet fit for purpose and now this funded awareness campaign is being set up to tell everyone how wonderful it is.
“When – and if – real reform is achieved which helps UK farmers we might raise a glass, but not before.”
The campaign will be funded from a pot of almost £1m (€1,071,600,00) set aside in the CAP budget for self-promotion.
Among CAP achievements to be announced are that it “has evolved to address global challenges”, that it helps farmers “keep the countryside alive” and that it is “one of the most integrated policies of the EU”.
A competition will offer prizes to the “professional communication agency, general or specialised media, nongovernmental organisation or public administration” which has made the best job of selling the perceived strengths of the CAP.
Mr Kirkhope said: “Alongside my Conservative MEP colleagues, I have worked to reduce the potential damaging impact of the new-look CAP, but it’s ridiculous that public money is to be used to sing its praises in this way.”
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