EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel is set to launch the “Harvest Experience” programme. Eurocrats will be required to spend some time on real farms. The idea is to give them a hands-on taste of the land, practicalities and challenges the sector faces thrown in.
Officials from the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development will start getting out of the office and onto tractors, into livestock pens, dairies and so on next year. It is part of plans to simplify the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) by improving understanding. Fischer-Boel’s idea is this will contribute to better quality regulation. Farmers often say the CAP forces them to spend more time on paperwork than field work. The subsidy-heavy policy eats up 40 percent of the EU budget. Brussels’ goal is to cut a quarter of administrative costs in three years.