New CAP reform ‘supports active needs of farmers’

Recently a majority of the European Parliament voted to adopt the new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), concluding more than two years of work on CAP reform.

The new CAP reform “addresses environmental and climate change concerns while continuing to support the active needs of European farmers”, according to Irish MEP Deirdre Clune.

Commenting, the Ireland South MEP said: “This CAP takes a more targeted, responsive and result-oriented approach, fulfilling the economic, social aims and objectives of the CAP, delivering on public goods, while meeting Europe’s higher environmental and climate ambition.

Agriculture is a strategic sector and it needs to be protected if we want our farmers to continue to produce high-quality food and reduce our reliance on imports from outside Europe.

Continuing, the MEP claimed: “Farmers will be supported for sustainable production patterns and incentives will be provided to contribute to climate, biodiversity and environmental goals.

“This is an environmentally conscious CAP, with 30% of direct payments allocated to eco-schemes and an increase in green spending from 30% to 35% in the rural development budget.

“Protecting biodiversity is one of the key aims of the new green architecture of the CAP.”

Noting that targeted eco-schemes as well as investments form the centre of this new architecture, Clune said this “will help us towards a more sustainable and competitive European agricultural sector”.

For the first time in CAP history, payments will be capped at €100,000. This limits the payments for big beneficiaries and sets a definition for an ‘active farmer’.

“This avoids financing those who have no real connections with farming,” she claimed.

“This CAP presents a fair and pragmatic balance between societal demands and a high level of ambition for climate and the environment and will pave the way forward for sustainable farming in Europe,” the MEP concluded.