Major changes proposed for EU farm payments post 2020
Proposal for future CAP payments to be ‘results orientated’ and co-financed
Farmers could be in for a shock if proposals to change the CAP and make it more ‘results orientated’ are introduced.
Bold proposals put forward this week by Alan Matthews, Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy in the Department of Economics at Trinity College, call for a CAP post 2020 that would see payments targeted on specific objectives with a clear results orientation.
Matthews told a workshop on the future of CAP in the European Parliament that “the current system of direct payments is neither effective, nor efficient, nor equitable and that it is a very poor use of taxpayers’ money.”
He said that if CAP funding is reduced in the coming period, it becomes even more important to focus spending on those areas which give the greatest value in return.
Matthews also proposes that all future CAP spending, and not only traditional Pillar 2 measures, should require co-financing by Member States.
Primary importance, he said, must go to ensuring that farmers are rewarded for practices that protect biodiversity and maintain ecosystem services and which go beyond good agricultural practice.
“We need to find ways to reward farmers and land managers who sequester soil carbon and thus contribute to mitigating climate change."
EU legislators have a responsibility to taxpayers as well as farmers, he said, and all farmers who benefit from any CAP payment should be obliged to observe cross-compliance standards.