Brussels – EU member states confirmed on Thursday the common agricultural policy (CAP) for 2023-2027 to make the CAP greener, fairer and more transparent. “We have finally reached the finish line after more than three years of hard work,” said Slovenian Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek, who chaired the Council session.
“The new CAP, endorsed today, represents a milestone in the EU’s agricultural policy as it paves the way for EU farmers to have a more just and transparent future,” the minister said.
Podgoršek is particularly happy given that the Slovenian EU presidency had made completing the CAP reform one of its key priorities.
“We are thus well on the way for the new CAP to start being implemented in 2023 as member states submit their strategic plans by the end the year,” he was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.
The new policy’s aim is to ensure a sustainable future for European farmers, with more targetted support for smaller farms being one of its important measures.
This brings to an end the CAP reform process, which started in 2018 when the European Commission outlined its original proposal for the coming seven-year period.
The reform was endorsed by the European Parliament in November, and now the three regulations constituting it must be signed by the Council and Parliament and published in the EU’s Official Journal to enter into force in 2023.
The new policy is the most environmentally ambitious too date, with 25% of direct payments reserved for environment-friendly practices, the release from the Council of the EU says.
Members states will have to ensure that at least 35% of the budget for rural development and at least 25% of direct payments go for environment and climate measures.
At the same time this is the first CAP to include a social dimension, to provide for adequate employment conditions for agricultural workers.