‘Current CAP likely to rollover for 1-2 years’ – Kelly

The current 2014-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) programme is likely to be rolled over for an additional two years, an MEP has cautioned.

Speaking on the latest episode of FarmLand, Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland-South, outlined that the much-anticipated reform of the CAP post-2020 is now expected to be pushed back due to increasing deadline pressures in Brussels ahead of the upcoming European elections in May.

Kelly also highlighted that the proposals had, in fact, been delayed by the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

It’s disappointing that the CAP post-2020 proposals won’t be signed off before the next European elections in May.

He continued: “A lot of progress was made but unfortunately it has been delayed in the agricultural committee; they are not going to vote on it until April.”

Kelly went on to say that the proposals therefore could not be voted on by the parliament.

Limbo

“That’s not good because most of the other areas in the multi-financial annual framework are going to go through prior to this parliament finishing,” he added.

It will more or less be in limbo until the new parliament meets and we don’t know what the constitution of the new parliament will be in terms of the distribution of seats among the groups.

He also alluded to the fact that while “the framework is good” and most people “will be happy” with the main points, he said it was “a pity” that it wouldn’t be progressed through the agricultural committee before the April deadline.

Funding

The MEP did advise that once the new parliament voted on it, CAP post-2020 would be “done and dusted” by the end of the year.

Then it would come into operation in time for the next framework programme.

Kelly continued: “Time is getting short and it would mean that there probably would be a roll-over [of the current CAP] for a year or two.

“I think the funding wouldn’t be affected because the commitments are there, so the funding would remain the same and I don’t think you could actually cut back on funding commitments already given,” he said.

He then advised farmers that the situation might not be as “catastrophic” as they would think.

“It’s really the shaping and the funding of the next CAP that we have to worry about and that is something we will have to work on as soon as parliament returns,” concluded Kelly.