Commission welcomes the political agreement on the transitional rules for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, the Commission welcomed the political agreement between the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) rules for the transitional period of 2021-2022. These rules are based on the principle of continuity of the current CAP rules while also including new elements to ensure a smooth transition. This agreement also covers the integration of the European Recovery Instrument (ERI) funds into the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), allowing the farming and rural economies to recover and be resilient in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

The national allocations during this transitional period will be those agreed for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework. In the meantime, the Commission continues to support the efforts to finalise the agreement on the next long-term budget and NextGenerationEU as soon as possible so that all new programmes can start on 1 January 2021.

Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, said: “I welcome the political agreement on the transitional rules for the CAP. This provides much needed certainty for our farmers, especially in these unprecedented times. The CAP will continue to support our farmers and agri-food producers, while increasing our environmental and climate ambition also thanks to the recovery funds for rural development. We will now work towards reaching an agreement on the CAP reform swiftly.”

During the transitional period, Member States will need to maintain at least the CAP’s current level of ambition in terms of environmental and climate objectives, in line with the “no backsliding principle” and to contribute to the European Green Deal objectives.

Furthermore, the European recovery funds allocated to rural development (EAFRD) (€7.5 billion) will be made available to Member States for the transitional period of 2021-2022. These funds should be used to address the impact of the pandemic while also ensuring a green and digital recovery. They target measures that are beneficial for the environment and climate, and that will facilitate the recovery and resilience of rural economies.

The transitional rules include:

  • Continuity of the current CAP rules for direct payments and rural development
  • Maintenance of current level of support for the outermost regions (POSEI) and smaller Aegean islands (SAI)
  • Extension of the exceptional rural development measure adopted in the context of the coronavirus crisis. Member States will have an additional six months to submit applications and make payments, subject to certain conditions.

Following today’s agreement, a vote will take place in the European Parliament and the Council to formally endorse the text to ensure its entry into force before the end of 2020. However, this will also depend on the final adoption of the 2021-2027 EU long-term budget.

Background

The Commission presented its CAP reform proposals in June 2018. The transitional rules will ensure continuity of income support for farmers until the new CAP is in place.

Furthermore, the Commission presented its NextGenerationEU proposals in May 2020, as a response to the coronavirus crisis. The transitional regulation will include the rules on the use of these funds under the CAP’s rural development fund.

On 10 November 2020, an agreement was reached between the European Parliament andEU countries in the Council on the next long-term EU budget and NextGenerationEU. The MFF Regulation and the Interinstitutional Agreement endorsed on 10 November 2020 must now be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, within their respective roles and procedures.

Once adopted, the EU’s long-term budget, coupled with the NextGenerationEU initiative, which is a temporary instrument designed to boost the recovery, will be the largest stimulus package ever financed through the EU budget. A total of €1.8 trillion will help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe. It will be a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe.

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