The Ministers of Agriculture of the European Union have reached an agreement on the rules of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that will come into force in 2023 and whose main novelties are the implementation of a new management model based on national plans and in the introduction of so-called eco-schemes.
Specifically, the Twenty-seven have set – after 42 hours of negotiations – their red lines for the debates that should begin in the coming weeks with the European Parliament, which this week is also voting to establish its negotiating position on the three regulations that will make up the new CAP.
Finally, the last document proposed by Germany, as the rotating presidency of the EU, has been approved by a qualified majority, with the sole vote against Lithuania and the abstentions of Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia.
The biggest point of friction between Member States has been the characteristics of the new aid to farmers and ranchers who want to go beyond the mandatory requirements and take additional measures in favor of the climate and the environment. Finally, the Twenty-seven have agreed to dedicate 20% of direct payments to the so-called eco-schemes.
“The agreement responds to what Spain raised”
The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Spain, Luis Planas, has celebrated the agreement reached during the early hours of this Friday by the governments of the EU on the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and stressed that with it Spain has fulfilled all the objectives that had been set for the negotiation.
«For this Council we came with eight final points of different levels and different importance and the we have all got. Actually, the proposal of the German presidency responded perfectly to what Spain was proposing, ”he stressed at a press conference after the agreement.
Planas recalled that negotiations with the European Parliament must now begin to seal an agreement, while he has trusted that the three regulations that will make up the future CAP can be published in the Official Journal of the EU as early as 2021.
The Spanish Minister of Agriculture has remarked that the pact between the Twenty-seven provides a correct balance between the income support for farmers and ranchers and the new green architecture. “The final agreement corresponds exactly to the scheme that we had planned from the beginning,” he said.
Specifically, it has assessed that 60% of direct payments will be destined to basic income for the sustainability of producers and a 20% is reserved for the new eco-schemes, which have been the main stumbling block in the negotiations.
This minimum threshold for eco-schemes represents, according to Planas, a «reasonable agreement‘, Since they are additional regimes that are added to the mandatory’ green ‘conditionality to access basic income and also to environmental actions of the second pillar.
The Spanish minister has also applauded that in the last round of negotiations at dawn a modification that raises a extension of vineyard planting rights until 2040.
In addition, Planas has explained that the changes that Spain demanded with respect to redistributive aid have been accepted, which has been added to the olive grove in sectoral programs that will benefit from a 3% of direct payments and that it has been included in the list of sectors eligible for aid associated with table olives.
At a general level, the Minister of Agriculture has stressed that the agreement this morning represents a “very important step forward” in the reform of the CAP that will give Spain a total of 47,724 million euros in the next seven years, an amount “more than enough to respond to all the great challenges” facing the Spanish agri-food sector.