The Slovenia Times

Slovenia to advocate more CAP funds, Židan says


"Although we're aware of the broader context and factors such as Great Britain's leaving the EU and migrations, we're critical of the cuts in the volume of funds, especially the 15% cut for rural development," said the outgoing minister.

He stressed the rural development programme was a policy which ensured development and played a key role in addressing environmental and climate challenges, helping rural areas to remain vital.

"We believe the amount of funds does not reflect the challenges such as globalisation, climate change, changed consumer expectations, income of farmers, tackling climate change."

Slovenia is thus in a group of EU countries which will advocate, in negotiations with the European Commission, a solution to preserve the existing amount of CAP funds.

The minister noted that 23 countries urged a rise in CAP funds in the 2021-2027 budget to the current level at the last session of the European Agriculture Council.

"This is the minimum which we have to preserve if we want to ensure that the CAP is effectively implemented and the set goals achieved," Židan stressed today.

While the minister welcomed the reform's goals such as the CAP's streamlining, he said Slovenia would make an effort for solutions to be adopted to make the goals feasible. "If we are unable to achieve this, then one should ask oneself whether the reform makes sense and what its vale added is."

The priorities of the EU's common agricultural policy were presented by Branka Tome from Directorate General for Agriculture at the European Commission.

She said the reform was designed to streamline and modernise the CAP, to support knowledge-based agricultural development, to pursue higher environmental and climate goals, and bring about a more just and more effective distribution of financial support among member states and farmers.

Even though CAP funds are being lowered due to Brexit, as Great Britain is a net contributor, Tome said the CAP proposal had been designed to keep the CAP a strong common policy.

"Goals and the main measures will be set at the level of the Commission, but members will be given more powers as to how to meet them," she stressed.

The EU's budget for the next seven years envisages 365 billion euro for the CAP.

Receiving less funds will be the members with the largest share of payments per hectare, including Slovenia, whereas those with the lowest will receive more.


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