The Council of Ministers (member states) is expected to adopt the proposed amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in order to ease administrative burden for farmers on May 13, 2024.

The European Commission last month proposed a targeted review of certain CAP provisions relating to several Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC) standards.

Following the formal adoption of the council expected next month, the regulation will then be signed by the representatives of the council and the European Parliament and published in the Official Journal.

The law will then immediately enter into force, and farmers will already be allowed to apply revised environmental “conditionalities” for their claims for EU financial support in 2024.

MEPs recently voted to approve the proposed CAP review by a vast majority. The review specifically addresses GAEC 8, 7, and 6, and exempts farms under 10ha from controls and penalties related to compliance with conditionality.

Member states

EU agriculture ministers discussed potential future measures aimed at reducing the administrative burden of the EU’s agricultural policy for farmers during a meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council yesterday (Monday, April 29).

These included reviewing the directive on unfair trading practices, simplifying the approval process for CAP strategic plans, delaying implementation of the deforestation regulation, and reviewing some technical aspects of monitoring under the CAP.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg. Source: European Council/Council of the EU

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue attended yesterday’s meeting and called for “strong engagement with farmers” to prepare for the next CAP.

Speaking at a discussion on the future of European agriculture, Minister McConalogue said: “If we are asking farmers to achieve policy objectives, then they have to be at the heart of those discussions.

“We need a well funded CAP with a budget that matches its ambition. For the next CAP, and the strategic plans, simplicity and flexibility are needed.”

The minister welcomed the measures already undertaken by the commission, however, he said that “more can be done” and that there are “further opportunities” to streamline processes in the future.