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S&Ds: we shaped a new green, fair and more social Common Agricultural Policy


23 Nov 2021


Agriculture & Food

Three years after the proposal put forward by the Commission and many rounds of negotiations among the EU Council and EU Commission, the European Parliament has eventually approved the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The reform consists of three files: the CAP Strategic Plans, the Horizontal Regulation (Finance, Management and Monitoring) and the Common Market Organisation Amending Regulation.

S&D co-ordinator in the committee on agriculture, Paolo De Castro, said:

“The reform that will shape the new European Common Agricultural Policy represents an ambitious step forward. We would have wanted more concrete turning points on several aspects, but we should not forget that we kicked off the reform process in 2018 with the damaging Commission proposal, which would have completely renationalised the CAP and not fulfilled the European-level ambition for more competitive and sustainable agriculture. Thanks to the S&Ds, we have avoided that risk. We can proudly say that, also by having safeguarded a meaningful participation of local and regional actors, we now have a fair balance between the social, environmental and the economic dimensions of the CAP, whose ultimate goal remains to increase the productivity of agriculture to ensure food security in the EU, the incomes of the EU farmers and the empowerment of rural areas.

“The social character of this reform has been massively beefed up. For the first time in 60 years, the social conditionality has been introduced: no more EU funds will be hence allocated to those who do not respect workers’ rights.

“The green spirit has been enforced. The new CAP will be a crucial factor that will contribute to meet the Green Deal’s goals, as confirmed by Commissioner Timmermans: at least 25% of direct payments will in fact be dedicated to eco-schemes and over the 35% of the Rural Development Fund will be addressed to agro-environmental practices, like organic production.

“This is also a much fairer and more equal CAP, with at least the 3% of the funds devoted to young farmers, and at least the 10% of the direct payments will be channelled directly to the small farmers.

“We could have achieved something more? Maybe, but we certainly succeeded in setting the Common Agricultural Policy on a different, more sustainable course and align it with our ambitions in the Green Deal, without putting at risk the competitiveness of our 11 million farmers.”