` European Farmers Ask E.U. Not to Cut Agricultural Spending from New Budget - Olive Oil Times

European Farmers Ask E.U. Not to Cut Agricultural Spending from New Budget

Aug. 12, 2020
Paolo DeAndreis

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Funding to the European Union’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor is set to be cut by 10 per­cent in the next seven years, if the European Parliament rat­i­fies the bud­getary agree­ment recently reached by mem­ber states.

Spain’s asso­ci­a­tion of young farm­ers (Asaja) has warned that, if con­firmed by the Parliament, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) cuts will reach €40 bil­lion ($47.5 bil­lion) for the 2021 – 2027 period.

If we look at the guide­lines set by the Commission, our sec­tor will be called to take on new com­mit­ments in envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and the pro­tec­tion of bio­di­ver­sity. To match those, an ade­quate vol­ume of resources for tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion and income sup­port is needed.- Massimiliano Giansanti, pres­i­dent, Confragricoltura

In the pre­vi­ous 2014 – 2020 period, the CAP bud­get totaled €383 bil­lion ($455 bil­lion), while the new CAP will be low­ered to €344 bil­lion ($408 bil­lion). For Spain alone, those cuts are worth more than €4.7 bil­lion ($5.6 bil­lion).

If this final agree­ment is con­firmed by the European Parliament, a 12.8‑percent cut will also be applied to the sec­ond pil­lar of the CAP, mean­ing the rural devel­op­ment fund (EAFRD) will fall to €78 bil­lion ($92.5 bil­lion).

See more: Common Agricultural Policy Updates

In the newest ver­sion of CAP, the EAFRD will receive €7.5 bil­lion ($8.9 bil­lion) from the Next Generation E.U.” stim­u­lus plan (NGEU), which is far less than the €15 bil­lion ($17.6 bil­lion) ini­tially pro­posed by the European Commission.

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Additionally, €450 mil­lion ($533 mil­lion) will be used to estab­lish a reserve fund, which is meant to sta­bi­lize the agri­cul­tural sec­tor in case of a sud­den cri­sis.

Asaja empha­sized the rel­e­vance of the EAFRD fund, since it is con­sid­ered key for rural areas to reach the goals of the European Farm to Fork and Green Deal ini­tia­tives.

Asaja also noted how deci­sive the efforts of farm­ers to keep the food chain going dur­ing the peak of the COVID-19 pan­demic have been through­out Europe.

The behav­ior of the Spanish and European agri­cul­tural com­pa­nies and their part­ners has been an exam­ple and that should also be cred­ited by those who decide [fund­ing],” Asaja pres­i­dent Pedro Barato wrote.

The Italian farm­ing asso­ci­a­tion, Confagricoltura, also stressed the rel­e­vance of agri­cul­ture and asked Italian Members of the European Parliament (MEP) to lobby their col­leagues for addi­tional funds for the sec­tor.

Looking at the NGEU, the pro­vided funds reach just the one per­cent of the pack­age, a sum that is really too small for a sec­tor whose impor­tance has been rec­og­nized by all as strate­gic,” Confragricoltura pres­i­dent Massimiliano Giansanti said.

If we look at the guide­lines set by the Commission, our sec­tor will be called to take on new com­mit­ments in envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and the pro­tec­tion of bio­di­ver­sity,” he added. To match those, an ade­quate vol­ume of resources for tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion and income sup­port is needed.”

Irish farm­ers set a sim­i­lar tone when they addressed the issue. Tim Cullinan, pres­i­dent of the Irish Farmers Association, called the cuts unac­cept­able.

The European Union wants farm­ers to do more for the envi­ron­ment and bio­di­ver­sity yet they will not back it up with the nec­es­sary fund­ing,” Cullinan said. We are par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about the allo­ca­tion for direct pay­ments in pil­lar one. The cur­rent pro­posal will not be suf­fi­cient to even sus­tain the basic pay­ment scheme at the same level as 2020.”





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