The original EU Commission proposal for 2021-2027 CAP

aka “the Good CAP”

Source : European Commission

Key points of the original EU Commission proposal

  • Greater focus on environmental aspects — new CAP Strategic Plans commit to a higher environmental ambition than the current CAP. The proposal suggests that 40% of Pillar 1 funding (direct payments to farmers) will target climate change measures. And 30% of Pillar 2 funding (rural development) will target additional voluntary agri-environmental measures. Moreover, a minimum 10% of agricultural land shall be left uncultivated and managed in a way to maintain and encourage biodiversity (Space for Nature), and pesticide use shall reduce by 50%, at individual farm level.
  • Changes to Direct Payments — Member States to apply a gradual reduction to the Direct Payments made to farmers between €60,000 and €100,000.
  • Genuine Farmer — Supports to only apply to the “genuine” farmer. This definition will need to be decided at Member State level. This is to ensure that support is not provided to those whose agricultural activity forms only an insignificant part of their overall economic activities or whose principal business activity is not agricultural.
  • Risk Management — Mandatory requirement for Member States to introduce risk management measures.

The CAP after EU Parliament’s compromise

aka “the bad CAP”

The European Parliament voted against amendments to the proposed new Common Agricultural Policy. Amendments 1199-1201 to integrate European Green Deal targets into CAP were all rejected. This means that hundreds of MEPs voted for the Green Deal, but then voted against actually having a target.

The proposed new CAP is also not in line with the objectives of the EU Green Deal, including the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies. What is supposedly ”enhanced” conditionality will, as per the Parliament’s position, now allow for ploughing in Natura 2000 permanent grasslands and a far smaller area dedicated to high diversity landscape features. These votes come after, earlier in the month, the same Parliament also voted for a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions  – up from the current 40%. Agri-food will now find it very difficult to play its part in reaching this sort of target.  

“The proposals agreed will not address the climate, biodiversity or water problems generated by Irish agriculture unless they are radically changed. CAP, if unreformed, will continue to distribute the majority of subsidies as untargeted direct payments based per hectare with weak environmental strings attached.”

Onnagh Duggan, Birdwatch Ireland head of advocacy

Withdraw the CAP, sign the petition

The current CAP will run for another two years. There is still time to bring about a CAP that aligns agriculture with the EU Green Deal and to address the biodiversity and climate crises in Ireland.

27 civil society organisations including ARC2020 have co-signed an open letter to the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen calling on the Commission to withdraw its CAP proposal in order to safeguard the European Green Deal. 

Read the open_letter_to_president_von_der_leyen_to withdraw_the_cap

To sign the petition :

withdraw the cap