It will come into force in January 2023 and contemplates that 10% of direct aid is destined to small and medium-sized agricultural holdings
The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the EU yesterday surpassed the decisive step for its activation in January 2023 and valid until 2027, after obtaining the support of the European Parliament. Almost three years of debate and disagreements between the institutions involved (the Parliament itself, the States and the Commission) have culminated in a reformed version of this framework that the legislature considers more “ecological, fair, flexible and transparent”. The relevance of the CAP is marked by its economic weight in the overall multi-annual budget of the EU (approximately one third of the total). The global figure is around 390,000 million euros, of which more than 47,000 correspond to Spain.
The CAP, which has yet to be endorsed by the European Council, assigns the Commission the task of evaluating whether the national strategic plans include the commitments to the climate and the environment that are required; farmers, in turn, will have to be “respectful” to them in their work. And Member States will have to ensure that at least 35% of the budget goes to rural development and 25% of direct payments to environmental and climate measures, which have been defined as ‘eco-schemes’.
The project validated by the European Parliament contemplates that at least 10% of direct payments be used to support small and medium-sized farms and at least 3% of the CAP budget goes to young farmers. They have also insisted during the debates and it has been possible to incorporate into the final result “the creation of a permanent crisis reserve”, which will have a budget allocation of 450 million euros and which will aim to “help farmers in case of price or market instability “, as stressed from the European Parliament.
Greater cooperation between national labor inspectors and the bodies that manage CAP payments or control, through a data management tool, of who are the final recipients of the subsidies are other mechanisms provided in this framework that would guarantee that greater transparency defended by MEPs.
The first would allow monitoring compliance with labor regulations and sanctioning infractions. In fact, a clear principle of social “conditionality” is reflected throughout the initiative or, in other words, that only if labor rights are respected will there be agricultural aid (it will be voluntary in 2023 and 2024 and mandatory from 2025). The second tool (that of data crossing) is intended to detect and eradicate the risk of fraud.
In the Strasbourg session, the last three pending CAP regulations (Strategic Plans, Horizontal and Common Market Organization) have passed the final screening, obtaining the support of 452, 485 and 487 MEPs respectively. The Spanish left-wing parties have rejected the reform because they consider that “it favors large companies and does not take climate objectives seriously,” they reinforced from Podemos.
The Ministry sees it as “positive”, by lowering some demands
The Ministry of Agriculture and Water yesterday valued “positively” the evolution of the document since the beginning of the negotiations, since it included “too rigid requirements for farmers and ranchers,” said a spokesman. “Despite the fact that the minimum agreement that we demanded from the Region together with the agricultural organizations has not been reached, we value the reduction in the percentage of eco-schemes, the flexibility of green requirements and social conditionality, or more aid for farmers , as we demanded ». He indicated that now it remains to implement this agreement “in a fair and equitable strategic plan, which does not harm the Region, so we reiterate the request made to the Minister, already on two occasions, to maintain a bilateral commission of the CAP, as well as has already done with other communities, to address the needs of the Region of Murcia.