New Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): Bringing the Dialogue

About the CAP 2023-2027 reform

In June 2021, after a three years long reform process, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU (national agricultural ministers) and the European Commission agreed on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2023. The policy is one of EU’s oldest and there are 387 billion Euro in EU’s budget for the period 2021-2027 allocated to it.

The final step in the reform process is a vote in the European Parliament expected in late November 2021 to seal the deal.

At the same time, Member States are working hard to prepare their plans for the implementation of the new policy. The implementation preparation process will include the writing of the so-called CAP National Strategics Plans by each Member State which should be presented to the European Commission by the end of 2021, while the Commission will assess, evaluate and agree to those in 2022. The objectives of the Farm to Fork Strategy (part of the European Green Deal) in relation to environmental, climate and social issues will play an important role in this assessment process.

Bring the dialogue – Green European DEAL and the CAP

Together with several of our members, we at Friends of the Earth Malta with other Friends of the Earth groups from Europe, want to accompany this process and provide information about the new CAP to citizens. We also want to create dialogue spaces with stakeholders in different European countries to help understand the new CAP and allow citizens to possibly shape the national implementation of this policy in their country. We will prepare some easy understandable materials and engaging events to bring farming closer to urban people and the questions of citizens discussed with producers.

Kelmiet il-Bejjiet

This podcast series explores the daily realities of those within the farming sector in the Maltese islands, and their familiarity and own experience of ‘The Common Agricultural Policy.

*bejjiet – farmer who prepares holes in the soil in which s/he sows the seeds.

Click on image to listen to podcasts

Farming in Europe stands at a crossroads. In 2020, the EU introduced the Farm to Fork Strategy, a set of policy objectives devoted to reforming Europe’s food system to meet the EU Green Deal goals. And in 2021, the EU promised a new “greener and fairer” Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). With its billions of euros going to farmers every year, it can make or break the Farm to Fork Strategy. Historically, the CAP has been used to prop up factory farms, exploitation and climate devastation.

So how far does this reformed CAP really achieve the Green Deal targets? Dive into the details with our new fact sheet.

Click on image to download fact sheet

Food production is a climate justice issue. But what does that mean exactly? In 2021, the EU finished reforming their Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which defines how a third of the EU budget will be spent. The new CAP will distribute nearly €270 billion to over 6 million farmers from 2023-2027. The way that money is shared out and spent has the power to re-balance power in food supply chains and create a fairer farming sector by supporting smallholder farmers, rural development, and sustainable farming practices.

So how far does the new CAP measure up as a tool to create a sustainable and fair agriculture system? Dive into the details with our new fact sheet.

Click on image to download fact sheet

Dive in the CAP lexicon

To get familiar already with some key elements of the policy, check out the vocabulary below.

Basic income support for sustainability (per hectare payments)

annual decoupled  payment per eligible hectare taking up around 60% of all farming funds. Those payments existed already before. Average payment per hectare across the EU amounts around 250 EUR (though big variations exist between countries and regions).

the minimum requirements CAP beneficiaries (farmers, but also other rural actors) have to comply with to receive support. For example, on every farm at least 3% of arable land should be dedicated to biodiversity and non-productive elements.
Ecoschemes (schemes for the climate and the environment)
a new voluntary instrument for farmers who want to implement climate and environmentally-friendly practices (organic farming, agroecology, integrated pest management) as well as animal welfare measures. Member States are expected to allocate at least 25% of their income support budget to ecoschemes (€48 billion of the direct payments budget) while farmers can chose if they take those up or not.
Rural development

those measures existed already in the past. With the new CAP35% of funds are supposed to be allocated to agri-environment commitments, which promote environmental, climate and animal welfare practices.

Redistributive payments(complementary income support)
a measure allowing at least 10% of the national direct payments envelope to give complementary income support for small & medium-sized farms.
Voluntary capping
a mechanism allowing to reduce payments to farmers above €60 000 (by up to 85%) & cap them at €100 000.
Voluntary coupled income support

existed already before, allowing 13% +2% of payments to be linked to production (protein crops, seep production, suckler cows etc.)

More resources

We have compiled some useful links just for you:

This article was seen first on FoE Europe website.

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