The Twenty-Seven have finally found a compromise ground to plant the seeds of an agricultural consensus. The agreement on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which will come into force in 2023, negotiated by MEPs and European Union member states, was formalized on Friday 25 June. To say that the discussions were laborious would be an understatement. The broad outlines of the project were unveiled three years ago by the Commission. A last round of tough negotiations, at the end of May, had even ended in failure. The rules intended to “green” European agriculture and the question of a fairer distribution of aid crystallized the opposition.
The project put on the table presented a change in philosophy compared to the current situation, making the CAP less community-based. As a sign of this “renationalization”, each country must present to the Commission a “national strategic plan” (NSP), a local version of the CAP, with the key to the distribution of European aid on each territory. This amounts to 386 billion euros over seven years, including 270 billion in direct aid to farmers. For France, the quota amounts to 62 billion euros.
If, a year ago, the adoption of the budget, maintained at its current level, had been unanimously welcomed, the dissension on its use quickly took shape. On the one hand, Copa-Cogeca, the umbrella European agricultural union represented in France by the FNSEA, in favor of a status quo. And on the other, multiple NGOs campaigning for an ecological and social transition of European agriculture.
With its Green Pact setting the course for carbon neutrality in 2050, broken down into “From farm to fork” and “Biodiversity 2030” strategies, the European Commission has, for its part, set strong ambitions to transform the environment. agriculture towards a more environmentally friendly model. They were to be translated into a new tool, called eco-regimes, intended to remunerate virtuous practices on farms. Finally, the agreement sets at 25% the amount of direct aid paid to farmers, conditional on compliance with these measures throughout the duration of the future CAP. In addition, countries can benefit from the progressive implementation of eco-regimes, with a floor rate of 20% in 2023 and 2024. MEPs demanded that the rate be 30%.
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