Negotiators of the European Parliament and EU Member States agreed this morning on the reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
“The agreement on the new CAP was urgently needed. We managed to defend the European model of family farming so that our farmers have confidence in the future, security to invest and we have, overall, a brighter future for the European agricultural sector. The new CAP will keep our food affordable, guarantees quality and combines the economic, social and ecological sustainability of European farming", said EPP Group MEPs Peter Jahr, Anne Sander and Herbert Dorfmann.
"For the first time in the history of the EU's agricultural policy, we managed to set a figure for a mandatory redistributive payment for smaller farmers. This 10 percent clearly shows our support for small and family farms”, explained Peter Jahr MEP, who negotiated the CAP strategic plans on behalf of the European Parliament.
Moreover, with the new CAP, the multi-functionality of our farmers does not only get more appreciated but also financially supported. The increased funding for ecological measures is unprecedented. "25 percent is more ambitious than what the Member States initially wanted. We should also remember that the European Commission did not even foresee an earmarking for eco-schemes at all", underlined Jahr.
"The EPP Group pushed hard to impose a new philosophy on controls. We increased risk-based rules for organising controls and introduced for the first time the possibility for national administration to correct errors made in good faith by farmers. We strengthened the rules on transparency and tools to avoid conflict of interests, to fight against fraud and to root out corruption. The CAP is the best financially-managed policy of the Union and must remain so. We need to safeguard its reputation against fraud and we will closely follow the use of new data mining tools (Arachné)", explained Anne Sander MEP, who is the EPP Group's negotiator for the two regulations which govern the financing and management of CAP and regulate the agricultural markets.
“The EPP Group ensured that the agri-food sector will benefit from new tools to strengthen the position of farmers in the value chain. We revised the market and crisis management tools and set up a fully functioning €450 million crisis reserve to allow the Union to respond promptly when farmers face dire times", she said.
"Lower quality imports must not replace our farmers’ work on our tables. The Parliament, the Council and the Commission recognised in a joint declaration that reciprocity of standards is essential for protecting our European model of the family farm. We will ensure that this commitment is kept", stressed Sander.
"We increased ecological sustainability without forgetting economic sustainability. The EPP Group advocates a European farming model that keeps the family farm at the centre. Family farms are a cornerstone of our rural areas and the secret of high quality food. With today's agreement, farmers will get much needed confidence to invest in the future", said Herbert Dorfmann MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Agriculture.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States