The European Commission today published proposals for regulations modernising and simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
These proposals are for a regulation on the CAP Strategic Plans (a proposed new way of working covering direct payments to farmers, rural development support and sectoral support programmes), a regulation on the Single Common Market Organisation (CMO) and a horizontal regulation on financing, managing and monitoring the CAP. These proposals give shape to the ideas for the future of the CAP, as outlined in the Communication on the Future of Food and Farming, presented by the Commission in November 2017.
Why reform the Common Agricultural Policy?
Since 1962, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has successfully fulfilled its original objective of providing income support to farmers in order to guarantee the supply of good quality, safe and affordable food for European citizens. The adaptability of the CAP over this time has ensured its continued relevance. The world is moving fast and so are the challenges facing not only farmers but our society as a whole. Climate change, price volatility, political and economic uncertainty, rural depopulation and the growing importance of global trade: farmers are constantly adapting to changing circumstances and legislators must ensure that they are provided with adequate support based on clear and simplified in the medium and long term.
The CAP is leading a transition towards a more sustainable agriculture. It needs to foster the sector’s resilience and support farmers’ income and viability. It needs to ensure that agriculture plays its full role in relation to the environment and climate challenge and it needs to fully accommodate digital innovations that make the jobs of farmers easier, reduce red tape and support generational renewal. With over 50% of EU population living in rural areas, efforts are needed to keep them attractive and vital as living spaces in terms of growth and jobs, but also infrastructure, mobility and basic services. By contributing to economic dynamics in rural areas and its socio-cultural life, EU agricultural plays an important role as does the new CAP by aiming at keeping sustainable farming in place throughout Europe and investing in the development of rural areas and communities.
Today’s legislative proposals introduce a simplified and modernised policy better fit to meet these challenges and objectives.
What budget is available for the CAP 2021-2027?
The Commission proposal for the multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027 includes €365 billion for the CAP (in current prices). This corresponds to an average share of 28.5% of the overall EU budget for the period 2021-2027. Out of this amount for the CAP, €265.2 billion is for direct payments, €20 billion for market support measures (EAGF) and €78.8 billion is for rural development (EAFRD).
An additional €10 billion will be available through the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme to support specific research and innovation in food, agriculture, rural development and the bio-economy.
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SOURCE: European Commission website