“After a long struggle, we reached a crucial agreement”, with a “Good balance” responding to “Aspirations for a greener, fairer and simpler CAP”German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) said early Wednesday, October 21.
At the end of a two-day meeting of ministers in Luxembourg, the Twenty-Seven therefore agreed on a new reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). A crucial first step before negotiations with MEPs.
→ INVESTIGATION. Two farmers judge the common agricultural policy
The guidelines adopted by the Member States will now be the subject of negotiations with the European Parliament, which votes this week on its own proposals. States and MEPs will have to decide together by early 2021 on the rules that will apply from January 2023.
Much stricter environmental standards
EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski called the ministers’ agreement a “Good starting point” for these negotiations, considering that a ” good compromise “ could now be found. With an already fixed budget of around 387 billion euros for seven years, the CAP is the EU’s biggest budget item.
According to the agreement of the 27, all farmers should be required to respect much stricter environmental standards, a sine qua non condition for receiving European financial aid. Small farms would be subject to simplified controls, “Which would reduce the administrative burden, while at the same time guaranteeing their contribution to environmental and climate objectives”.
Mostly the “Eco-diets”, a system of bonuses paid to farmers to support participation in more demanding environmental programs, would become compulsory. Each state will have to devote at least 20% of direct EU payments to this.
“Good news for our farmers”
The aim is for farms to receive additional funds if they go beyond basic climate and environmental standards. This point has been the subject of significant friction, with many states in eastern Europe fearing to lose European funds if an insufficient number of farmers participate in environmental programs.
→ MAINTENANCE. “The CAP has lost sight of its initial mission”
“Just a few hours ago, we had very different opinions”, commented Janusz Wojciechowski. According to him, an agreement is “Good news for our farmers” who need planning security for the next few years