CAP Reports

CAP Council Report July 2020

Revised EU Commission MFF/COVID19 Recovery Package 1/2

  • On May 27th last: EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen came forward with a COVID19 Recovery Package for Europe.
  • The Package included:
    • Pandemic Crisis Fund of €540bn;
    • €1,100 bn MFF for next 7 years;
    • European Recovery Next Generation Fund of €750bn.
  • The revised 7-year MFF replaces May 2018 Commission proposal and EU Council President Charles Michel Feb 2020 proposal.
  • The new proposal is a 9% decrease from the CAP Budget 2014- 2020 at constant 2018 prices.
  • Included in the CAP is €15bn from the Next Generation Fund to support climate change initiatives in the Just Transition Programme to support rural areas so as to make structural changes necessary in line with the European Green Deal, Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity Strategies.
  • This funding is added to Pillar 2 funding and is available up to Dec 2024. It will be incorporated in Member States CAP Plans.

MFF proposals on CAP

Some important points re. MFF 

  • There is no breakdown for what Ireland will be allocated. Based on the previous CAP it would be allocated along same lines as previous programming period – about 2.7% or €9bn (P1 & P2).
  • The level of co-financing required for Pillar 2 is a national decision.
  • IFA’s target: value of Direct Payments post 2020 to be set at €2bn/yr. for the next 7 years (€1.8bn/yr. currently).
  • The Commission proposals are being discussed by EU Council Heads of State on 17th/18th The Commission plan to have the full package agreed by Q4 for implementation from Jan 2021.
  • If the Budget is agreed, EU CAP transition rules will mean various farm schemes will operate in 2021 under the “new money old rules” criteria. This would mean a cut of about 5% or €50m in Pillar 1 payments next year.
  • IFA has called on the Taoiseach to reject the Commission proposal at EU Heads of State.

EU Green Deal, including Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies

The main points in the Farm to Fork + Biodiversity Strategies are:

  • Reducing the use of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030.
  • Reducing nutrient losses by 50% and the use of fertilisers by 20% by 2030.
  • Reducing the sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals by 50% by 2030.
  • Revising and improving animal welfare legislation based on scientific evidence.
  • Increasing Organic farming to 25% of EU land area by 2030 (currently 1.5% in Ireland).
  • Clarifying competition rules for collective initiatives to strengthen farmers position in the supply chain.
  • Developing a Green based model rewarding farmers for Carbon sequestration through CAP or market.
  • Planting 3 billion trees by 2030.
  • Restoring 25,000km of the EU’s rivers to free-flowing state.
  • Protecting 30% of the EU land and sea areas – extension of Natura (Ireland at 13%).
  • Stimulating sustainable food consumption and promote affordable healthy food for all.
  • IFA has called for Impact assessment – agreed at EU level.

EU CAP Transition

  • The Transition arrangements are currently been discussed at EU level. The European Parliament and the Council have agreed a 2-year transition. The Commission is still pushing for a 1-year transition. It is expected that there will be an agreement shortly which allow for extension of all schemes for either the 1- or 2-year period.

CAP Post 2020 details

  • There is unlikely to be any discussions on the details of CAP until the autumn.
  • Meanwhile DAFM are continuing with discussions on SWOT analysis, Needs assessment to be followed by the interventions or measures in the next CAP Plan for Ireland.

Main points to emerge from recent CAP Consultative meeting

  • The Croatian Presidency concluded with only some progress on environmental impact assessments and targets to be achieved in next CAP.
  • DAFM said there has been little progress on issues such as the new green architecture, as well as how the new Farm to fork and Bio diversity strategies will be integrated into the next CAP. It is expected that there will be significant discussion on the details in the autumn under the German Presidency when normal ‘in person’ meetings will take place.

Needs Assessment for the next CAP Plan:

  • At the CAP Focus Group meeting held on June 10th IFA President Tim Cullinan presented IFA’s top 6 needs for the next CAP(see Appendix 1 enclosed)
  • Following on this, DAFM has now presented a draft needs assessment under each of the 9 CAP objectives (see Appendix 2 enclosed).

The 9 CAP objectives are;

  1. Support viable farm income and resilience across the union to enhance the food sector.
  2. Enhance market orientation and increase competitiveness including greater focus on research, technology, and digitalisation.
  3. Improve the farmers position in the food value chain.
  4. Contribute to climate change mitigation and adaption as well as sustainable energy.
  5. Foster sustainable development and efficient management of natural resources such as soil, water and air.
  6. Contribute to the protection of Biodiversity, enhance ecosystem services, and protect habitats and landscape.
  7. Attract young farmers and facilitate business development in rural areas.
  8. Promote employment growth, social inclusion and local development in rural areas including Bio economy and sustainable forestry.
  9. Improve response of EU Agriculture to societal demands on food & health, including safe nutritious food, food waste and animal welfare.

Once the needs assessment is concluded, of critical importance to IFA are the interventions or measures that are necessary to address these needs. IFA will be prioritising the measures across a wide range of schemes. 

Gerry Gunning

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