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EU farm reforms won't hit markets

The European Commission's bold plans to reform costly EU farm policy should increase farmers' incomes and have only a minor impact on markets, European Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler said Wednesday.

Fischler, architect of a radical reform blueprint unveiled in July, said six studies assessing the potential impact of his proposals supported the process of change.

"The results clearly show that we are right with this reform," he told a news conference on the impact studies, four commissioned from external sources and two internal ones.

"Decoupling will lead to some production adjustments but in no way will it lead to farmers abandoning their land. And the most substantive result is that farm income will be positively affected by the reform," he said.

Decoupling, a cornerstone of the reform, involves breaking the link between subsidies and output that has been blamed for the wine lakes and butter mountains of the past as farmers churned out produce to win ample payments from Brussels.

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