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CAP reform matches climate goals with economic and social ambitions


Renew Europe MEPs - amongst them European Democrats MEPs -  have been at the forefront of efforts to broker a compromise between parliamentary groups on modernising and increasing the environmental ambition of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This week, three important reports are voted on, encompassing strategic management plans, the Common Market regulation, and financing, management and monitoring of the CAP. They are crucial to ensure that the EU's high agricultural standards and economic potential are in line with environmental, biodiversity and social needs.

The main principles outlined in the Renew Europe vision paper for a Prosperous & Green Farm Deal are reflected in the package reached with the EPP and S&D. 

To highlight the key elements:

First, measures are proposed to speed up the environmental transformation of European agriculture:

  • Transforming: Eco-schemes will help invest approximately €100 billion by 2027 to enhance the sustainability of EU farms, allowing farmers to turn their businesses into carbon efficient, low input and high-biodiversity food systems. Governments should dedicate at least 30% of the direct payments to these schemes.
  • Investing: Our proposal on smart and green investments will allow farmers to innovate and invest in climate-proof technologies by mobilising at least 30% of the rural development budget towards investments.
  • Supporting: Europe should stand by its farmers to help them gain access to the best knowledge and innovation. We propose to step up knowledge transfer and advisory services to help them cope with economic and environmental challenges.

Second, updated support programmes will help get the most out of our agricultural sector's economic and social potential:

  • Generation renewal: The reform of the CAP targets issues that allows younger generations to invest in agriculture infrastructure and encourages rural start-ups and increased cooperation.
  • Boosting the rural economy: 30% of rural development programmes is dedicated to investments in knowledge and innovation, and risk-management tools.
  • Smart regulation: CAP management gives flexibility to national or regional governments to design tools within a clear and common EU-framework. This will avoid distorting competition, while at the same time allowing the CAP to achieve greater results with less administrative burden on farmers.

In all, the CAP deal has been a massive undertaking, and Renew Europe welcomes the ambitious and strong position this should give the Parliament ahead of negotiations with the Commission and Council:

Executive Vice-President and German MEP Ulrike Müller (Freie Wähler), rapporteur on the CAP financing, management and monitoring regulation and Renew Europe Agriculture Coordinator, explains: 'For the new CAP, Renew Europe expresses a clear commitment to the new Delivery Model and the Green Deal. In this respect, our group supports the move from a prescriptive, one-size-fits-all-approach to a more targeted, responsive and result-oriented approach, which fulfils the economic and social aims and objectives of the CAP, delivers on public goods, while meeting Europe's higher environmental and climate ambition. This is one of the cornerstones of CAP reform and is also reflected in the Horizontal Regulation.'