Inside EU budget documents: Proposal to slash CAP by between 14% and 19%

Additional reporting by Claire Mc Cormack

The next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) could be set for a savage cut if proposals from the President of the European Council Charles Michel are enacted, European documents show.

According to the documents, under the current 2014-2020 CAP budget – adjusted for the EU-27 (minus the UK) – €382.5 billion was allocated over the lifetime of the programme. The new proposal would represent a drop (for CAP) of over €53.2 billion or 14%.

Also Read: CAP funding set for ‘firing line’ at EU budget crunch talks

The same document indicates that the 2014-2020 CAP budget – adjusted for the EU-28 (including the UK) – was €410.3 billion. Using this as the existing, the new proposal would see a drop of over €81 billion or 19%.

Drastic CAP cut

Under the President of the European Council”s proposal, the CAP budget for 2021-2027 would be €329.3 billion.

Of this, €256.7 billion would be allocated for Pillar I. At present, Pillar I spending chiefly comprises direct payments (BPS) and ‘Greening’ subsidies.

Meanwhile, the documents propose €72.5 billion for Pillar 2 (‘Rural Development’). Pillar 2 currently encompasses schemes such as the Green Low-carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS), Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) and other initiatives.

In the case of Pillar I, the proposal would see a cut of between 10% and 17% (depending on which 2014-2020 CAP allocation you use as a baseline).

In addition, the new (proposed) CAP budget would see €4.8 billion go to LIFE (an environmental and climate action programme); €7.5 billion for a new Just Transition Fund; and €12.5 billion for other programmes.

Official document

The document – sent to AgriLand by official EU sources – is pictured (below).

Image source: EU Council

Yesterday, Sunday, February 16, AgriLand published an article indicating that crunch EU budget talks will take place in Brussels this Thursday (February 20).

The leaders of the EU’s 27 member states will gather for an extraordinary European Council meeting to discuss – and potentially decide – on the bloc’s multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for the next seven years.

It remains to be seen if the aforementioned leaked document will form one of the key budgetary proposals going forward. Stay tuned for further details, as they emerge…

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