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Political agreement on new Common Agricultural Policy

(C) European Union

On 25 June 2021, negotiators from the EU Council, the European Parliament (EP) and the European Commission (EC) reached a provisional political agreement on the main elements of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It introduces a fairer, greener, more animal friendly and flexible CAP.

A fairer CAP: equitable distribution of CAP support, especially to small and medium-sized family farms and young farmers.

  • The CAP will include social conditionality for the first time.
  • Redistribution of income support will be mandatory.
  • Support for young farmers (up to 40) will have a mandatory minimum level of 3% of Member States’ budgets.

A greener CAP:  higher environmental and climate ambitions, aligned with Green Deal and its Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.

  • Enhanced conditionality.
  • Ecoschemes will be mandatory for Member States to offer, allocating at least 25% of the direct payments budget.
  • At least 35% of rural development funds will be allocated to agri-environment commitments.

The new CAP maintains an overall market orientation and it has the intention to reinforce the position of farmers in a competitive agri-food sector.

It covers three regulations (Horizontal, Strategic Plans and Common Market Organisation regulations), and it is planned that it will enter into force on 1 January 2023.

Each Member State is preparing a CAP strategic plan to implement the policy over the next five years. Member States have until 31 December 2021 to submit their draft plans. The Commission will then have six months to assess and approve the plans, which will then enter into force beginning of 2023.

Find out more about the key steps in EU CAP programming by country, based on the information collected by the SHERPA partners here

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