The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future’ sets out potential challenges, objectives and orientations for the Common Agricultural Policy (‘the CAP’) after 2013. In the light of the debate on that Communication, the CAP should be reformed with effect from 1 January 2014. That reform should cover all the main instruments of the CAP, including Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 (1). In the context of the reformed regulatory framework, measures on fixing prices, levies, aid and quantitative limitations should be taken.
For the sake of clarity and transparency, the provisions on public intervention should be made subject to a common structure, whilst maintaining the policy pursued in each sector. For that purpose, it is appropriate to distinguish between reference thresholds laid down in Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2) on the one hand and intervention prices on the other hand, and to define the latter. Only intervention prices for public intervention correspond to the applied administered prices referred to in the first sentence of paragraph 8 of Annex 3 to the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (i.e. market price support). In this context, it should be understood that market intervention can take the form of public intervention as well as other forms of intervention that do not use ex ante established price indications.
The level of the public intervention price at which buying-in is carried out at a fixed price or under a tendering procedure should be provided for, including the cases for which an adjustment of the public intervention prices may be necessary. Equally, measures on quantitative limitations for carrying out the buying-in at a fixed price need to be taken. In both cases, the prices and quantitative limitation should reflect the practice and experience acquired under previous common market organisations.
Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 provides for the granting of aid for private storage as a market intervention measure. Measures on the fixing of the aid amounts need to be provided for. In view of the practice and experience acquired under previous common market organisations, it is appropriate to provide for the fixing of the aid amounts both in advance and by a tendering procedure, and for certain elements to be taken into account when the aid is fixed in advance.
In order to ensure a sound budgetary management of the school fruit and vegetables scheme, a fixed ceiling of Union aid and maximum co-financing rates should be provided for. In order to allow all Member States to implement a cost-effective school fruit and vegetables scheme, a specified minimum amount of Union aid should be set.
To ensure the proper functioning of the aid for the supply of milk and milk products to children in educational establishments and to ensure flexibility in the administration of such a scheme, a maximum quantity of milk eligible for aid, as well as the amount of Union aid, should be fixed.
Pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013, several measures in the sugar sector will expire at the end of the 2016/2017 marketing year for sugar when the system of quotas is abolished.
Measures on the fixing of the production charge to be levied on the sugar quota, isoglucose quota and inulin syrup quota provided for in the sugar sector should be provided for in this Regulation in line with the prolongation of the quota system until 30 September 2017.
To ensure an efficient production refund system for certain products of the sugar sector, appropriate conditions should be laid down to fix the amount of the production refund.
A minimum price should be fixed for quota beet corresponding to a standard quality which should be defined, in order to ensure a fair standard of living for the Union growers of sugar beet and sugar cane.
To avoid a threat to the sugar market situation due to the accumulation of quantities of sugar, isoglucose and inulin syrup for which the applicable conditions are not met, provision should be made for a surplus levy.
A mechanism to ensure a sufficient and balanced supply of sugar to the Union markets has been set up in Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013, allowing the Commission to take the appropriate measures to achieve this. As the market management instruments putting this mechanism into practice are the temporary adjustments of the import duty payable on imported raw sugar as well as the temporary application of a levy on out of quota production released onto the internal market for the purposes of adjusting supply to demand, a specific provision enabling the Commission to apply such a levy and to fix its amount should be included in this Regulation.
To ensure the proper functioning of the export refund system, appropriate measures should be provided for to fix the amount of the refunds. In addition, in the cereals and rice sectors, appropriate measures should be set to fix the corrective amounts and to provide for the adjustment of the refund amount in line with any changes in the level of the intervention price.
To ensure an efficient day-to-day management of the CAP, the measures on fixing aid, refunds and prices set out in this Regulation should be limited to the broad conditions allowing concrete amounts to be laid down in the specific circumstances of each case. In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission to lay down those amounts. Those implementing powers should be exercised with the assistance of the Committee for the Common Organisation of the Agricultural Markets and in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (3). Furthermore, to ensure a swift response to fast changing market situations, the Commission should be empowered to fix new refund levels and, in the cereals and rice sectors, to adapt the corrective amount without applying Regulation (EU) No 182/2011,