The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
2017 was marked by discussions over simplification and the future of the CAP that has culminated with the European Commission’s communication on “Future of food and Farming” in November. The communication has refreshed the discussions after the wide-ranging consultation, which received more than 322,000 submissions.
While there have been calls for radical change, this reform process is more of an “evolution rather than a revolution”. This is an understandable position due to the uncertainties regarding the budget, the European Parliament elections and the change of current college of commissioners in 2019.
The ELO welcomed the communication and the intention to explain the need for a well- funded CAP beyond 2020. The sector faces an increased number of challenges while being asked to contribute to a wide range of goals. Our view is that CAP supports should help farming make the transition to invest in innovative technologies to improve productivity and resource efficiency and to cope with the challenges of a changing climate.
The ELO suggested a support system structured around the concept of land management for food and environmental security that focuses on objectives rather than being driven by pure compliance considerations that are often too bureaucratic.
In 2018, the ELO will continue to engage in discussions on the future of the CAP, in particular on the content and details of the CAP strategic plans. This is the most radical thinking in the paper, as it represents a new decentralised delivery model to ‘bolster environmental care and climate action’.
The ELO will continue to use is well-stablished structures, take part of the relevant Civil Dialogue Groups and will continue to organise several meetings to gather the views of different stakeholders on the future of the CAP, ahead of the legislative proposals on the future farm policy design expected in the summer of 2018, soon after the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) proposals, for the period from 2021 onwards.