Farmers in their field
20 December 2017

"CAP sur la PAC 2020" conference: discussions on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

All of the national stakeholders concerned by the future of the CAP gathered on 19 December 2017 at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris for a meeting convened by Stéphane Travert, Minister of Agriculture and Food. Representatives of the three main bodies which lay down European policy also took part in this conference entitled "CAP sur la PAC 2020", not least European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, MEPs and several European Ministers of Agriculture.
This conference was organised to give stakeholders the opportunity of sharing their thoughts on the future of the CAP, following the European Commission's recent publication of a communication outlining ideas on the future of food and farming. It intends to present its legislative proposals for post-2020 in May 2018.

Nearly 300 participants were thus able to hold talks around three thematic round tables, with, in between, keynote speeches delivered by the European ministers in attendance.

Stéphane Travert reiterated his support for the current CAP's development into an ambitious political project that is fully capable of tackling the challenges facing the European Union (EU) today:

  • Stimulating the development of agricultural and agrifood businesses, by ensuring a "fair price" for producers, promoting food chain organisation and adapting the rules and systems to match the specific characteristics of each sector.
  • Enhancing the value of environmental services provided by agriculture and supporting climate, energy and territorial transitions, by encouraging the transformation of production practices and systems.
  • Managing hazards and empowering actors.

The Minister stressed the importance of not pitting agricultural models against each other and the need to implement tools tailored to the diversity of European models – without underestimating the difficulty involved in achieving this.

Portrait of Minister Travert
We are going to have to strike the right balance between common and specific objectives, global and local models, widely applicable systems and locally applicable measures.
Stéphane Travert
Minister of Agriculture and Food

Stéphane Travert also reminded participants that the CAP needs to be simplified, to make it clear and understandable to everyone, its beneficiaries and European citizens alike.

He underscored France's position as to the requirement for a strong budget to underpin the future CAP and clearly stated his opposition to the introduction of national co-funding to support the basic income of smallholder farmers in the context of direct payments. The same applies for the financing of crisis management and tools that provide payment for environmental performance and support the ecological transition of systems, "since meeting our common environmental objectives must not be dependent upon Member States' ability to carry out dedicated financing," he maintained.

Finally, Stéphane Travert encouraged all stakeholders to carry on the work initiated at this conference, with a view to reaching a political compromise ahead of the 2019 European elections for the sake of providing its beneficiaries with a stable, coherent framework, both in financial terms and as regards the tools to be harnessed.

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