Modernising and simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy
For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission proposed today to modernise and simplify the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
With a budget of €365 billion, these proposals make sure the CAP remains a future-proof policy, continues to support farmers and rural communities, leads the sustainable development of EU agriculture and reflects the EU's ambition on environmental care and climate action. Today's proposals give Member States greater flexibility and responsibility for choosing how and where to invest their CAP funding in order to meet ambitious goals set at EU level towards a smart, resilient, sustainable and competitive agricultural sector, while at the same time ensuring a fair and better targeted support of farmers' income.
Under the Commission's proposals, Member States will have the option to transfer up to 15% of their CAP allocations between direct payments and rural development and vice-versa to ensure that their priorities and measures can be funded.
Strategic Plans covering the whole period, will set out how each Member State intends to meet 9 EU-wide economic, environmental and social objectives, using both direct payments and rural development. The Commission will approve each plan to ensure consistency and the protection of the Single Market.
The Commission will closely follow each country's performance and progress towards the agreed targets. Direct payments will remain an essential part of the policy, ensuring stability and predictability for farmers. Priority will be given to supporting the small and medium-sized farms that constitute the majority of the EU’s farming sector, and to helping young farmers. The Commission remains committed to achieving a fairer distribution of direct payments between Member States through external convergence.
In addition, direct payments to farmers will be reduced as of €60,000 and capped for payments above 100,000 per farm. Labour costs will be taken fully into account. This is designed to ensure a fairer distribution of payments.
The proposal also foresees that small & medium-sized farms will receive a higher level of support per hectare and countries will have to set aside at least 2% of their direct payment allocation for helping young farmers' get set up. This will be complemented by financial support for rural development and different measures facilitating access to land and land transfers.
Direct payments will be conditional on enhanced environmental and climate requirements. Each Member State will have to offer eco-schemes to support farmers in going beyond the mandatory requirements, funded with a share of their national direct payments' allocations. At least 30% of each rural development national allocation will be dedicated to environmental and climate measures. 40% of the CAP's overall budget is expected to contribute to climate action.
The modernised CAP will also take advantage of all the latest technologies and innovations, thereby helping both farmers in the field and public administrations, notably through a budget of €10 billion from the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme for research and innovation projects in food, agriculture, rural development and bioeconomy.
Factsheets and the legislative proposals are available here
MEMO: The Common Agricultural Policy beyond 2020
More information on the EU budget for the future can be found here
1 June 2018