E.U. Set to Approve Future Common Agricultural Policy

The new CAP will provide increased flexibility to member states, increase funding for small farmers and apply more stringent environmental requirements to aid payments.
Jun. 29, 2021
Daniel Dawson

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The European Union is set to approve a new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) this week after the European Parliament and Council reached a polit­i­cal agree­ment on Friday.

The European Commission said the new CAP, which comes into force in January 2023 and runs through 2027, will be fairer, more envi­ron­men­tally con­scious and flex­i­ble.

The new CAP com­bines higher envi­ron­men­tal, cli­mate and ani­mal wel­fare ambi­tions with a fairer dis­tri­b­u­tion of pay­ments, espe­cially to small and medium-sized fam­ily farms as well as young farm­ers.- Janusz Wojciechowski, European Agriculture Commissioner

Once it has been for­mally approved by the E.U. Agricultural Council, it will be up to each mem­ber state to pre­pare a strate­gic plan to imple­ment the CAP over the next five years.

E.U. offi­cials said that this dif­fer­ent approach to the CAP will allow local pol­i­cy­mak­ers to tai­lor the plan to the unique needs of their respec­tive coun­tries.

See Also: Europe Plans to Triple Agricultural Land Dedicated to Organic Farming by 2030

The new CAP com­bines higher envi­ron­men­tal, cli­mate and ani­mal wel­fare ambi­tions with a fairer dis­tri­b­u­tion of pay­ments, espe­cially to small and medium-sized fam­ily farms as well as young farm­ers,” Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said.

I now count on mem­ber states to develop ambi­tious CAP strate­gic plans that are in line with our objec­tives and that will pro­vide the right tools to sup­port our farm­ers in the tran­si­tion to a sus­tain­able food sys­tem,” he added.

The European Commission empha­sized that this CAP will be more sup­port­ive of work­ers than pre­vi­ous ones.

Any CAP ben­e­fi­ciary will have to respect European labor laws to get the fund­ing. Member states will also be required to redis­trib­ute 10 per­cent of the income sup­port ben­e­fits to small farm­ers. A fur­ther three per­cent of each mem­ber state’s bud­get is ear­marked for young farm­ers, defined as under the age of 40.

The new CAP will also pro­vide more strict envi­ron­men­tal require­ments for farm­ers who would like to receive fund­ing. The European Commission said the goal of this is to have the CAP com­ple­ment the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy.

The CAP bud­get will con­tribute sig­nif­i­cantly” to the E.U.’s over­all cli­mate spend­ing, stip­u­lat­ing that mem­ber states must allo­cate at least 25 per­cent of their strate­gic plan bud­gets to ecoschemes, which will reward farm­ers for organic farm­ing prac­tices, agroe­col­ogy and inte­grated pest man­age­ment.

The agree­ment reached today [Friday] marks the start of a real shift in how we prac­tice agri­cul­ture in Europe,” said Frans Timmermans, the first vice pres­i­dent of the European Commission.

In the next years, we will pro­tect wet- and peat­lands, ded­i­cate more farm­land to bio­di­ver­sity, boost organic farm­ing, open up new income sources for farm­ers via car­bon farm­ing and begin to redress inequal­i­ties in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of income sup­port,” he added.





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