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EU plans to streamline farm rules to reduce bureaucracy, costs

European Union regulators approved a single set of rules to cut down on the bureaucracy of farming in the 25-nation bloc, saving both time and money and making future changes easier.

Rules that govern subsidies, quotas and market intervention on 21 products including sugar, olive oil and beef are to be incorporated into a single law, EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said today. „For companies, administrations and farmers organizations, the new setup will save time and money,” she told journalists in Brussels. „There are considerable savings to be made on research and legal fees and lower error rates in seeking out the relevant information.” The European Commission is under pressure at the WTO to reduce support for farmers and from national governments, led by Britain, that want the bloc's agricultural policies to be cheaper and simpler. „I want to put everything on the table” when the EU's Common Agricultural Policy is reexamined in 2008-2009, Fischer Boel said, adding that streamlining the farm rules now „is not a way to introduce reforms through the back door.” EU governments must approve the planned rule changes. (Bloomberg)