New EU budget ‘makes a mockery of Farm to Fork’ – Duffy

The newly-announced EU budget has been labelled as “overwhelmingly disappointing” by the national president of Macra Na Feirme, Thomas Duffy.

Duffy commented on the “agreed” EU budget, that will be in place until 2027, saying: “The new budget makes a mockery of the EU Farm to Fork programme. The EU seems to want to achieve greater ambition with less money.”

Duffy said that Macra Na Feirme had “warned that this was going to happen” during budgetary negotiations.

Duffy believes the new budget will result in the primary producer being left to “carry the cost” to comply with the regulatory framework. “This is unacceptable,” he said.

When discussing the carbon targets that have been laid out by the EU, Duffy said that these targets are “unachievable”.

It’s an incredibly disappointing day. We face a serious challenge to meet the aims set out in the Rural Development Programme [RDP].

Duffy also said that he “needed to see increased eligibility for young farmers for Pillar I schemes in the future”.

CAP budget ‘agreed’

Duffy’s comments come following the announcement that the EU has signed off on a €1.8 trillion budget and Covid-19 recovery package – after four days of negotiations.

The budget for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the next seven years is included within the package, with a (upper limit) figure of €356.3 billion (and what the council refers to as ‘2018 prices’) under the heading of ‘Natural Resources and Environment’.

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CAP budget ‘agreed’ for the next 7 years

While retaining Pillar I and Pillar II sub-headings (for CAP), a new delivery model brings both pillars under a single programming instrument – namely the CAP Strategic Plan.

The document states that direct payments, under the CAP Strategic Plan Regulation, will “not exceed €239.9 billion”.