No new CAP until 2023
by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)
The EU has now postponed its common agricultural policy reform by two years. EU states like Germany had recently tried to water down the few reform initiatives there were.
The EU bodies have agreed to postpone the (CAP) common agricultural policy reform by two years and until then, everything will remain the same.
This was agreed by the EU Council of Ministers, the EU Parliament and the Commission at the end of the Croatian Presidency. The sums that will be available for agricultural subsidies in the next two years remain open. In the Commission's proposal for the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the years 2021 to 2027, agricultural expenditure will remain more or less constant. However, the EU member states still have to agree to the MFF at their summit meeting on 17 and 18 July.
Chance for a new start
Originally, the new CAP should have been agreed in 2020 and come into effect at the beginning of 2021. The CAP reform debate has dominated the last two years; while for some civil society organisations the Commission's proposals did not go far enough, several member states, including Germany, tried to water down the few reform proposals there were.
As no agreement could be reached by the Council of Ministers, an extension became increasingly likely. At the same time, with its Green Deal and the Farm to Fork (F2F) agricultural strategy embedded in it, the new EU Commission has set itself ambitious goals (50 percent less pesticides, 25 percent organic), which go far beyond the previous CAP reform. For this reason, there were more and more voices in favour of pressing the reset button, starting reform discussions again and incorporating the F2F strategy into the coming CAP period that would now cover the years 2023 to 2027.
It remains to be seen whether the EU countries will use the opportunity to make a fresh start or whether they will now try to water down the Commission's F2F strategy and to keep CAP reform to a minimum. It is very likely however that social pressure for sustainable reforms will continue to increase.