Agriculture MEPs strongly oppose proposed substantial cuts in the post-2020 CAP
The EU cannot afford to cut the funding of its farm policy if it is to continue ensuring delivery of public goods to EU citizens, the Agriculture Committee said on Tuesday.
The EU needs a resilient, sustainable and competitive agricultural sector to deliver food security, provide high-quality and safe food at affordable prices to consumers, preserve landscapes and the natural environment and ensure a fair standard of living for farmers, Agriculture MEPs said in an opinion for the Budgets Committee on the future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
For that, a modernised and well-funded Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with a stable budget is needed, they insist.
The Agriculture Committee strongly opposed the substantial cuts in the post-2020 CAP budget as proposed by the Commission.
Challenges faced by farmers such as unfair trading practices, increased market concentration, free trade agreements and ongoing climate and weather-related problems, as well as new food, health and environment-related rules that farmers must comply with, would justify a budget increase, not cuts, MEPs say.
The CAP budget in the 2021-2027 MFF must therefore be at least maintained at the current 2014-2020 level in real terms, MEPs stress.
To this end, as well as to finance new EU priorities and to plug the budget hole after Brexit, the EU member states should increase their contribution to the EU’s budget to 1.3pc of their Gross National Income (GNI), they say.
The committee also called for maintaining the existing financial allocation for both the CAP’s first-pillar’s direct payments, as an income safety net that should help finance the transition to more sustainable and more competitive agriculture, and for its second-pillar’s rural development funds.