Swift agreement on EU budget needed to ensure continuity in farm payments - Hogan
Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan has said that a swift agreement on the EU's budget post-2020 is essential to ensure continuity in farm payments.
It comes as Agriculture MEPs announced that they will only vote on the legislation for the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in April, which means the next European Parliament will have the final say on the policy overhaul.
Under plans for the EU’s budget (MFF) for 2021-2027, farmers would receive around €232 billion in direct support, a drop of more than €30 billion from the current seven-year budget.
In a recent speech to European Economic and Social Committee discussion on CAP, Hogan said the Commission's proposal was made in an extremely challenging budgetary context, taking into account the loss of an important net contributor due to Brexit as well as the need to address new challenges, such as security and migration.
"Within that context we feel the Commission made a fair and reasonable proposal, maintaining a strong budget for agriculture - the amount of €365 billion for the CAP means that 96 cent out of every euro paid to farmers for 2014 to 2020 is protected going forward towards 2027.
"This reduction is complemented with a proposal to achieve greater equity in direct payments per hectare, notably through convergence, degressivity and capping, and a redistributive payment.
"This means that small and medium-sized farmers would largely escape any reductions in payments," he said.
Hogan said the reduction of Rural Development programmes can be compensated by Member States or by transfers from Pillar One.