In the framework of a visit to the Zamora-based agricultural cooperative Cobadu, which recently suffered a fire in its facilities, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, said that at the next meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers, Spain will be asking for a flexible application of the funds for eco-schemes.
Faced with the proposal of the German Presidency for this flexibility to apply only in the years 2023 and 2024, "Spain is going further" and demanding that this be extended until 2027. This way, in the event that the amounts from the so-called eco-schemes allocated each year to aid aren't fully used, that money won't be lost.
Planas said that the proposal of the European Council that 40% of the total funds of the CAP be allocated to environmental issues should be considered with the entire period in mind, "and not year by year, as the application of the new CAP would otherwise be much more difficult.”
He also highlighted the importance of these eco-schemes, which are a novelty in the new CAP and that, together with basic income support, will be one of the instruments helping increase the income of agricultural producers and ranchers who are "fighting against climate change and working to preserve the environment.”
The position of the Spanish Government in the Council of Ministers of Agriculture of the European Union will be that 20% of the aid of the first pillar of the CAP should be used for the eco-schemes. This is intended to be "an incentive", but the most substantial part continues to be "aid and income support."
Planas argued in favor of making eco-schemes mandatory for all member states, and for each country to have a choice of possible eco-schemes so that producers can apply and receive complementary aid. In any case, the application of these eco-schemes will always be voluntary for CAP applicants, as recalled by the Minister.