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MEPs give final go-ahead for EU farm reform

25 November 2021, 21:46 CET
MEPs give final go-ahead for EU farm reform

Farming - Image Solarpark Neukirchen

(STRASBOURG) - The European Parliament gave the final green light Tuesday to reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, with the reformed version aiming to be greener, fairer, more flexible and more transparent.

During the negotiations on the legislative reform package, MEPs insisted that strengthening biodiversity and adhering to the EU's environmental and climate laws and commitments will be key to the implementation of the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), taking effect in 2023.

While the Commission will assess whether national CAP strategic plans are in line with these commitments, farmers will have to comply with climate- and environmentally-friendly practices. Member states will be obliged to ensure that at least 35% of the rural development budget and at least 25% of direct payments will be dedicated to environmental and climate measures.

MEPs ensured that a minimum of 10% of direct payments will be used to support small and medium-sized farms and at least 3% of the CAP budget will go to young farmers. They also insisted that a crisis reserve with an annual budget of €450 million (in current prices) will be permanently ready to help farmers with price or market instability.

EU labour rules in agricultural sectors will be better monitored and infringements penalised thanks to the cooperation between national labour inspectors and CAP paying agencies.

Information about final beneficiaries of EU support will be more transparent thanks to an EU data mining tool, which member states will get access to and which helps to identify the risk of fraud occurring by cross-checking information in public databases.

"Today marks a historic day for the new CAP," said rapporteur Ulrike Mueller MEP, "a day when we advance towards a more environmentally ambitious, socially aware and performance-oriented agricultural policy."

She added: "The new delivery model will ensure that the focus of the CAP will be more on achieving its targets and less on simply complying with the rules. We also made sure CAP payments are more transparent and that the EU's financial interests are better protected."

Current CAP rules were extended after 31 December 2020 and replaced by transitional rules until the end of 2022. Once approved by the Council, the new rules will be applicable from 1 January 2023.

Further information, European Parliament

The adopted text will be available here (23.11.2021)

Procedure file (Strategic plans)

Procedure file (Financing, management and monitoring of the CAP)

Procedure file (Common market organisation in agricultural products)

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