Agriculture, EU Commission: ad hoc proposal presented for CAP to support farmers

Agriculture EU Commission ad hoc proposal presented for CAP to

(Finance) – The European Commission today presented a proposal to “revise some provisions” relating to conditionalities in the Regulation on strategic plans of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in order to resolve some difficulties in implementation, while maintaining the general orientation agreed by Parliament and Council in 2021 and which entered into force in 2023.
These proposals aim to reduce the control burden on EU farmers and to provide them with greater flexibility to comply with certain environmental conditionalities. National administrations will also benefit from greater flexibility in applying certain standards. The text describes the European Commission’s proposals for improve the situation of EU farmersfocusing on two main areas: ease the pressure on farmers by simplifying the conditionalities of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and improve the position of farmers in the food supply chain through measures aimed at ensuring fair remuneration.

The text also provides the elimination of the use of a minimum share of arable land to non-productive areas from the ‘Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions’ (BCAA) standard, while maintaining the protection of existing landscape elements. Member States will be required to set up an eco-scheme offering support to farmers to maintain some arable land in a non-productive state or to create new landscape features.

As for the simplification of CAP conditionalities, the Commission proposes a series of targeted changes to reduce the administrative burden on farmers. These include flexibilisation of requirements relating to non-productive elements (GAEC 8), crop rotation (GAEC 7) and land cover during sensitive periods (GAEC 6), providing Member States with more flexibility in applying these standards . The proposals also aim to exempt small agricultural holdings from controls and sanctions relating to CAP conditionalitiesthus reducing administrative burdens for small farmers.

The Commission proposes immediate, short, medium and long-term measures. These include the establishment of an observatory on production costs and trading practices, amending the Common Market Organization Regulation to strengthen rules on contracts and cooperation between farmers, and introducing new rules on cross-border enforcement against unfair commercial practices.

Furthermore, the Commission is committed to evaluating the Food and Drink Directive in depth unfair commercial practices in the food supply chain and to implement accompanying measures in the public procurement sector and to ensure better implementation of existing rules on agricultural products imported or produced in the Union.