Proposals to guarantee CAP transitional payments for 2020 presented to EU Ministers

EU Commissioner Phil Hogan. Photo: Reuters
EU Commissioner Phil Hogan. Photo: Reuters
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

The EU Commission presented its proposed regulations for CAP transitional rules to EU Ministers which are intended to guarantee continuity of payments and programmes before the next CAP enters into force. 

In public session the Council exchanged views on the environmental and climate-related aspects of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020.

The Commission presented to the Council its proposals for CAP transitional rules. The proposals, adopted on 31 October 2019, aim at providing certainty and continuity in the granting of support to European farmers in the year 2021, and making it possible to continue to transfer funds between the pillars in the year 2020.

Commissioner Phil Hogan stated that while he was “disappointed” that CAP post 2020 reform wasn’t completed this year he said that the transitional rules would provide continuation of payments in 2021 and said it removed the risk of Member States running out of funds for the programmes under the rural development programme.

“We have to guarantee continuing of payments to farmers. It provides for continuation of payments for both pillars in 2021 by fixing the available funds available to member states in that year.”

Ministers focused in particular on a suggestion from the presidency intended to increase the environmental ambition and flexibility of the post-2020 CAP by setting a single common share of funding for environment and climate purposes.

Commissioner Hogan added that by implementing eco schemes in to the new CAP it would ensure that the programme makes “a real difference” and is not just there to “tick spending targets off as such an approach does nothing to deliver on objectives”.

Meanwhile Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed stated that Ireland accepted the increased conditionality within the new CAP and the key focus of environmental sustainability and that to encourage farmer participation and change incentives must be put in place.

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IFA President Joe Healy said the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed needs to secure a guarantee that there will be no cuts in CAP payments next year as part of the transition arrangements.

“Any cuts would be unacceptable. Farmers need certainty, given the importance of direct payments to support their income. Minister Creed needs to get Commission backing and support from other Ministers for Agriculture for a transition that at least maintains existing payments for 2020,” he said.

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