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ECR

CAP: Secure food supply and environmental protection now go hand in hand

23 November 2021

CAP: Secure food supply and environmental protection now go hand in hand

The ECR Group welcomes the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) adopted today by the European Parliament. The package will continue to guarantee food supply security and boost support for young farmers, making the sector more attractive again.

“It’s a compromise, but it’s a good compromise.Taking our food security seriously, our farmers deserve greater respect, appreciation and support. They are the ones who take care of our food supply and our countryside, day in, day out, according to the highest standards in the world”, ECR Shadow Rapporteur Bert-Jan Ruissen said in plenary.

For the ECR Group, climate and environmental protection must go hand in hand with the agricultural sector’s food security, supply, and longevity. A considerable part of the CAP budget is earmarked for so-called eco-schemes: a new instrument to reward farmers for their efforts to help climate, environment and animal welfare. Income support remains an important element in the new policy.

ECR Coordinator for Agriculture Zbigniew Kuźmiuk even called the adoption of the CAP a historic achievement against the background of current and possible future crises.

We must take into account the various risks and threat factors to the agricultural sector, such as the long-term effects of Brexit, the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent sharp increase in the price of energy sources, which translates into a significant increase in agricultural production costs.

The ECR Group is particularly pleased that the Member States are to be given greater leeway than before in planning and implementing the measures in their National Strategic Plans (NSP) and that young talent in the sector is to be better supported:

Speaking after the vote, Kuźmiuk said:

“We must also remember that the ultimate objective of the reformed CAP should be to ensure the food security of the European Union, the stability of agricultural markets and the viability of European farms, especially small and medium-sized family farms.

“An undoubtedly positive feature of the new solutions is that they give Member States significant freedom in implementing the system of future direct payments and in applying solutions such as the definitions for an active farmer, redistribution payments and payments for young farmers, taking into account local needs and specificities.”

MEP Ruissen added:

“We have struck a good balance between income support and targeted rewards through the eco-schemes. Member States can now do more for young farmers.”

The CAP accounts for one-third of the EU budget. As the Commission already presented the first proposals in 2018, the new Parliament took over the work on the file upon its installation mid-2019. 25 per cent of direct payments under the first pillar will be reserved for environmental schemes, with a phasing-in during the first two years. Member States must submit their National Strategic Plans to the Commission for approval by 1 January 2022.

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