§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action Her Majesty's Government are taking to seek to secure proper management of the European Economic Community common agricultural policy; which European Economic Community institution is responsible for common agricultural policy management; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Jopling
Day-to-day management of the commodity regimes under the common agricultural policy is undertaken by the European Commission acting under powers given to it in regulations adopted by the Council of Ministers. These regulations require in many instances that drafts of its management regulations should first be put to the management committee on which member198W states' Governments are represented. If the management committee should give a negative opinion (expressed by qualified majority) the matter would normally be considered by the Council. The Commission's actions are also subject to scrutiny by the European Court of Auditors and to questioning by the European parliament.
In general the problems in the operation of the CAP have arisen not from the detailed management of the policy by the Commission but because the Council in taking decisions, especially on support prices, has not responded sufficiently to trends in agricultural production, and as a result surpluses have emerged which are difficult and costly to dispense of.
The United Kingdom Government will continue to press for a more market orientated and rational CAP which in the long term is in the interests of producers, as well as consumers and taxpayers.