After 42 hours of negotiations, the countries of the European Union (EU) have managed to close an agreement on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which will regulate European agriculture between 2023 and 2027. The European Ministers of Agriculture greenlighted the three regulations that make up this reform: that of the National Strategic Plans, that of the common organization of markets, and the regulation on the financing of aid. Only Lithuania voted against the agreement, while Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania abstained.
According to the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, “it is a balanced proposal that responds to different needs. It is imperfect, but very good.”
The new CAP: green architecture and strategic plans
The objectives of the future CAP include improving the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change, promoting development and sustainable energy and guaranteeing an efficient management of resources.
The new CAP also aims to contribute more actively to the protection of biodiversity, the improvement of ecosystems and the preservation of habitats and landscapes.
The Member States will implement the measures of the new CAP within the framework of a national strategic plan that they must prepare and that must be approved by the European Commission before its application. One of the main novelties is the “eco-schemes”, an instrument that will serve to boost those agricultural and livestock practices that have a more beneficial impact on the climate and the environment. Countries have supported making them mandatory for Member States and voluntary for agricultural producers and ranchers. In addition, they advocated allocating 20% of direct payments to "eco-schemes".
The CAP for the period 2023-2027 will be funded with some 390,000 million Euro from the European budget, 47,724 million of which will go to agricultural producers and ranchers in Spain; a similar sum to that of the 2014-2020 period, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Following the Council's agreement, the European Parliament plans to vote on the whole of the reform next Friday. This will be followed by the so-called “trilogues”, in which the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament will complete the negotiation of the regulations, which should conclude early next year. The regulation approval process will then take place and the States will have to finalize their national strategic plans.