CAP post-2020

  • “Subsidiarity is a general principle of European Union law. We are proposing greater subsidiarity for the Member States and the regions because we believe that the key decision-makers should be closer to the farmers on whom their decisions will directly impact - Brussels will no longer be the rule-maker”
  • “The ‘one size fits all’ model is outdated. We are rebalancing responsibilities between EU and MS/regional level. Each MS is different – farm structures, production methods, climate, economy, number of young farmers – and they face different challenges for which they are best placed to determine the solutions within a clear EU framework”
  • “The Commission’s role is central. We will have to approve the plan, with a particular focus on ensuring the delivery of the nine common objectives and maintaining the level playing-field. The Commission will also maintain a strong watchdog role and will intervene where necessary to ensure that the ‘common’ is kept in the CAP”

 

Generational Renewal

  • “Young farmers are the catalyst for change and modernisation. They are the ones who will translate knowledge gained in the classroom and the laboratory onto the farms. European agriculture operates in an increasingly global and more competitive environment – young, highly-qualified farmers, availing of the new and emerging technologies, hold the key to improving Europe’s competitive edge”
  • “Many of the policy tools needed to help young farmers overcome barriers to entry are controlled at national level - these include taxation and land policy. The issue of generational renewal needs, therefore, to be seen as a shared endeavour, with the EU and the MS/regions complementing one another with appropriate actions/supports in their respective areas of competence”
  • “Farming is no different to many other professions – it must provide a return or pay a fair wage. We need to look at other complementary instruments, such as the UTP legislation, which is designed to ensure that farmers get a fair return for their efforts, or appropriate financial instruments, about which I am meeting the EB last week”

 

Environmental and Climate Ambition

  • “Farmers are frequently the subject of unfair commentary when it comes to environmental protection and climate action. They, almost more than anybody else, need good environmental conditions to do what they do every day”
  • “Our proposals include important and specific EU requirements which will increase the level of environmental and climate ambition. In particular, under the new delivery model, a new green architecture is developed, with
    • enhanced conditionality, applying to area and animal based payments
    • new mandatory eco-schemes under Pillar I, and
    • environmental, climate and other management commitments under Pillar II, for which 30 per cent of the EAFRD expenditure is ring-fenced”
  • “We are also proposing a new article explicitly preventing any backsliding and the share of climate mainstreaming is raised from 20 per cent today to 40 per cent from 2021-2027”

 

Direct Payments

  • “Direct payments remain an essential part of the CAP in line with its Treaty obligations. the detailed results of the Commission’s impact assessment, which accompanied the Commission’s legislative proposal, provides the evidence that direct income support remains a key element for the future in order to ensure food security, environmental and climate ambition as well as rural vitality”
  • “We have, therefore, clearly prioritised DPs because they provide stability, predictably and certainty, particularly to smaller family farms – that prioritisation is also demonstrated in the difficult budgetary decisions that had to be taken in the preparation of the Commission’s MFF proposal”
  • “Our proposal for capping and degressivity is aimed at supporting small and medium-sized farms though greater targeting and more fairness. I hope that the co-legislators will see it in the same spirit and remember that this is an often vulnerable group of farmers.”

 

Unfair Trading Practices

  • “The Commission’s proposal targeted smaller operators in the food supply chain, including farmers, who are vulnerable to unfair trading practices employed by partners in the chain and often lack bargaining power. It aims to ensure fairer treatment for small and medium sized food and farming businesses”
  • “The proposal is fundamentally about fairness – about giving voice to the voiceless - for those who, through no fault of their own, find themselves the victims of a weak bargaining position”
  • “I believe we all want to reach a mutually acceptable outcome that delivers on the commonly-shared objective of strengthening the position of producers (farmers) and SMEs in the food chain. That would be a significant step forward and I’m confident that all three institutions have the same level of determination to conclude an agreement in the interests of our farmers”

 

Trade

  • “Every €1 billion in exports supports 20,000 jobs.  These are often in rural areas where alternative job opportunities are limited and, thus, our trade policy is contributing significantly to the growth and vitality of rural communities throughout the Union”
  • “In 2017, exports reached a new record level of €137.9 billion. The agri-trade balance was positive for eight consecutive year, with a surplus of €20 billion. The latest monthly agri-trade report, published this week, shows a monthly trade surplus of €2.2 billion in September. The EU truly is the best food address in the world”
  • “The EU’s attitude is one of being open to trade. There are clear opportunities for further growth. Of course, there are circumstances in which, during trade negotiations, we have defensive interests that we must protect and that is exactly what we do. We also negotiate on the basis that we operate high standards in EU and we expect the same high standards of our trading partners. We will not compromise on our standards for any trade agreement”

 

Task Force for Rural Africa

  • “The work of the Task Force has to be seen as part of a broader deepening of the relationship between Europe and Africa and reflects a change in that relationship towards “a call for action”.”
  • “Agricultural production and the agri-food sector will play a crucial role in the future of Africa in terms of job creation, addressing the root causes of irregular migration and the achievement of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.”
  • “The Task Force is designed to make recommendations and suggest fresh ideas on priorities and to step-up our cooperation with Africa. But, the European Commission can’t do this work alone – we need to act in synergy with the many excellent examples of cooperation by many MS.”

Ends.