Cap: greener, fairer and more robust

The EU’s future agricultural policy needs to be more flexible, sustainable and crisis-resistant so that farmers can continue to provide food security across the EU. MEPs on Friday approved their positions on EU agricultural policy reform (Common Agricultural Policy) for the period after 2022. The European Parliament negotiating team is now ready to start talks with EU Ministers. “Turning” from performance compliance MEPs support a change of direction that is expected to better adapt to rural development. stressed, however, that a level playing field should be ensured throughout the EU. National governments should draw up strategic plans to clarify how they intend to achieve the objectives set by the EU, which will then be approved by the Commission. In this context, the Commission will monitor the performance of the Member States, in addition to their compliance with EU rules. The objectives of the strategic plans should be achieved in accordance with the Paris Agreement, according to MEPs. Better environmental performance for the agricultural sector in the EET The Parliament has strengthened the principle of conditionality, ie the rules that farmers should follow regarding climate and environmentally friendly practices as a prerequisite for receiving immediate aid. In addition, MEPs want at least 35% of the rural development budget to be allocated to environmental and climate measures in all categories. Also, at least 30% of direct payments should be directed to ecological practices that will be voluntary, but by following them farmers will be able to increase their income. MEPs insist that advisory services should be set up for agricultural production in all Member States, and that at least 30% of the EU funding provided to them should be allocated to financial support for farmers to tackle climate change, sustainable management of natural resources and biodiversity protection. They also call on Member States to provide incentives for farmers to allocate 10% of their land to landscaping in ways that are conducive to biodiversity, such as the use of fencing shrubs, unproductive trees and small ponds. large farms, support for small businesses and young farmers , as long as they are related to agricultural activities. Also, at least 6% of national direct payments should be earmarked to support small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises. If this percentage exceeds 12%, then the above-mentioned ceiling should cease to be mandatory, according to MEPs. At least 4% of the funds for direct payments should be able to be used by Member States for support for young farmers. Part of the funds for rural development could be directed to the priority financing of investments by young farmers, MEPs argue. Parliament stresses that EU aid should not be granted to those who do not have a minimum level of agricultural activity, while should not be given at all to those who run airports, railways, water networks, real estate companies, stadiums and outdoor entertainment venues. Vegetarian burgers and tofu steaks: unchanged meat for meat products. There will be no changes to the plant products and labeling they currently use at their points of sale. Helping farmers deal with risks and crises The European Parliament is pushing for further measures to support farmers so that they can in turn better address the risks and potential future crises. It wants greater transparency in the market and the introduction of an intervention strategy for all agricultural products. He also argued that practices aimed at better protecting the environment, as well as animal life and health, should be excluded from EU competition rules. With regard to the reserve for the crisis in the agricultural sector, which supports farmers in cases of price or market instability, MEPs want to turn it from an occasional tool into a permanent mechanism with an adequate budget. Penalties for repeated infringements and mechanism Parliament calls for tougher sanctions in cases of repeated non-compliance with EU requirements, for example with regard to the environment and animal welfare. In these cases, farmers will lose 10% of the planned aid – today the figure is 5%. MEPs also want an EU grievance mechanism to be set up on a case-by-case basis. Farmers and beneficiaries of agricultural aid facing unfair treatment or treatment that puts them at a disadvantage with EU aid will be able to use the mechanism if national governments neglect to deal with their complaints. more infoThe Strategic Plans Regulation was adopted by 425 votes to 212 with 51 abstentions.The Regulation on the common organization of the market was adopted by 463 votes to 133 with 92 abstentions. The CAP was approved by 434 votes to 185, with 69 abstentions. More information on the texts adopted is available in the relevant information note (in English). Rural Development of the EP and the three rapporteurs. Related informationAgricultural policy existing in 1962 and last revised in 2013. The existing rules of the Common Agricultural Policy will be in force until 31 December 2020. They are expected to be replaced by transitional rules until Parliament and the Council reach a final agreement on the current CAP reform. The CAP absorbs 34.5% (€ 58.12 billion) of the EU budget for 2020. About 70% of CAP funds are used to support the income of six to seven million EU agricultural enterprises .Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the newsSee all the latest News from Greece and the World, at

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