CAP reform not to be decided until after May elections

The future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020 will be voted on by the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development in April, it has been confirmed.

This will have knock-on consequences meaning that it will not be possible for the new CAP to be decided before the European elections in May.

The European parliamentary elections are due to take place from Thursday, May 23 to Saturday, May 26.

While the agri committee will vote before the election, motions tabled at committee level must wait one month before they can be brought to plenary level, at which point the matter will be voted on by the full European Parliament.

Because the April plenary session will be the final plenary session of the current sitting parliament, the issue of CAP reform will have to be postponed until the new parliament is elected, a spokesperson for the European Parliament confirmed to AgriLand.

MEP and First Vice President of the European Parliament  Mairead McGuinness also noted the news on social media.

In a brief tweet she posted: “The European Parliament Committee on Agriculture will not vote on the CAP reform files until April.

This has implications for timing of implementation of the reforms. The new parliament elected in May will have the final say.

As the MEP for the Midlands-North West pointed out, the pushing back of the vote will mean that the reformed policy will not be implemented until after the European elections.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is currently drawing up the Irish strategic plan for CAP 2021, to be submitted by January 1, 2020.

Speaking on the topic in the Dail recently, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said: “I am engaged in a process of consultation and in that context, it would be unfair to be overly prescriptive about my own views on this.

We are doing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis now and we will be doing a needs assessment of what would be best for us in the future.

“We will have an ex-ante evaluation of both of those processes before we complete our CAP strategic plan.”