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UE takes stock after a month of the new CAP

Commissioner Wojciechowski says he is convinced that the Member States have drawn up effective strategic plans

"Today ends the first month of the new CAP: it is a good time to take stock of where we are and where we are going". This was stated by the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Janusz Wojciechowski at the beginning of his contribution to the exchange of views on the strategic plans of the CAP, the common agricultural policy, with the Commission itself in Brussels.

"I am convinced that the Member States have developed effective strategic plans for the CAP -says the commissioner-. Now we need to focus all our efforts on implementation, to ensure that these plans can deliver results for our farmers, our rural communities and for sustainable food security".

"In economic terms - underlines Wojciechowski - the plans foresee an income safety net of almost 37 billion euros a year. Every year, more than 10% of direct payments, equal to 4 billion euros, will be destined for redistributive payment".

Another fundamental trembling is generational renewal. "The agricultural population in Europe is ageing: only one in ten farmers is under the age of 44 - underlines the commissioner -. The new plans provide for the allocation of 8.5 billion euros to support young farmers and generational renewal. 377,000 new young farmers are expected to settle in 2023-2027".

In terms of supporting rural communities more broadly, Member States have focused on community-led (or Leader) local development strategies. "On average - says the commissioner - 7.7% of rural development funding is reserved for the implementation of these strategies, exceeding the minimum level of 5% and aiming to cover 65% of the EU's rural population. Four Member States propose to implement social conditionality from this year, while two others plan to do so from 2024. The others must ensure that this mechanism is in place from 2025".

In terms of environmental sustainability, 32% of public support, amounting to almost €100 billion, is dedicated to delivering benefits for the climate, natural resources, biodiversity and animal welfare, which go beyond the minimum standard of conditionality. This means, explains the Commissioner, that "35% of our agricultural land will benefit from management practices that favor the elimination of carbon and the reduction of emissions; about 30% will benefit from targeted actions for the conservation or restoration of biodiversity and, more than 25% will be supported for practices to reduce the use and risk of pesticides."

As regards organic farming, the area receiving support from the CAP will almost double compared to 2020, reaching around 10%. Yet. "8 Member States have introduced eco-schemes for animal welfare - says Wojciechowski -. In total, about 7 billion euros will be spent with interventions to expand living spaces and improve housing conditions, for example".

Furthermore, the new plans will support "farming models with less energy intensity and in which production factors are used more efficiently. For example -adds the commissioner-, there is strong support for precision agriculture: six Member States support it through eco-schemes, while many others support it through investments in technology".

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EFA News - European Food Agency