People working in a field
19 December 2019

Future CAP in the context of the European Green Deal

Joint Statement of the ministers of agriculture of Germany, Spain and France.
 

THE MINISTERS OF AGRICULTURE OF GERMANY, SPAIN AND FRANCE:

  • STRESS that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) shall remain an important policy of the European Union, in accordance with the objectives set by the Treaties.
  • RECALL the essential role played by the CAP to contribute to food security and the economic viability of farms and rural areas, while meeting the expectations of the European society.
  • SHARE the objective that the CAP shall contribute more to preserve environment and to the fight against climate change by accompanying the transition towards more sustainable production systems with the view to reach the carbon neutrality in 2050.
  • UNDERLINE the essential role played by the CAP, in the attractiveness of rural areas, the modernization of the agri-food sector, the increase of innovation, the support for less-favoured areas and the generational renewal.
  • DEFEND the common European framework of the EU Agricultural Policy that safeguards the proper and fair functioning of the internal market and guarantees the access for all consumers to healthy, sustainable and quality food.
  • ASK FOR a CAP based on a common set of applicable rules, avoiding distortion of competitiveness and limiting the number of optional mechanisms, in order to provide EU farmers with a common framework for production, in line with high environmental standards.
  • ASK for a CAP that shall be simpler to implement for beneficiaries, Member States, Länder, Comunidades autonomas and Régions, and be more understandable for citizens.

CONSEQUENTLY, THE MINISTERS OF AGRICULTURE OF GERMANY, SPAIN AND FRANCE

  • STRONGLY SUPPORT the new environmental architecture proposed by the Commission, which offers efficient tools to reach a reinforced environmental ambition, towards an enhanced conditionality that integrates the requirement of greening, a mandatory ecoscheme on the first pillar, and measures of the second pillar, such as agro-environmental and climatic measures, and also UNDERLINE the importance of the support for less favoured areas.
  • UNDERLINE that the conditionality shall be a common core of practices and shall apply fairly to all farming systems, even if controls can be adapted to small farmers.
  • As regards the decrease of biodiversity in Europe, ASK FOR a minimum threshold to be fixed in the basic act for areas of ecological interest (GAEC 9), applicable in the whole European Union.
  • ASK FOR an ecoscheme mandatory for Member States and optional for farmers, to provide incentive payments under the first pillar for environmental and climate friendly practices.
  • ARE IN FAVOUR of a minimum budget to allocate to ecoscheme, and consider as a step in the right direction the proposal of the Presidency to have a minimum part of the overall budget on the first and the second pillar dedicated to environmental and climatic expenditures.
  • ASK FOR more flexibility in the implementation of the performance, to be able to achieve an efficient ecoscheme. In particular, member states need more flexibility in the annual financial programming and management of the basic income support for sustainability (BISS) and other interventions, especially ecoscheme, as it is difficult to foresee the success of new interventions.
  • UNDERLINE the importance of having a common strategy on the development of protein crops for feed and food as a key issue for the environment, in view to reducing fertilizers and, ensuring a wide crop rotation, while improving self-supply of European agriculture with feed crops, and CONSIDER that all adequate CAP tools should participate to this issue.
  • HIGHLIGHT that an increase in environmental and climate ambitions of the CAP as well as animal welfare and the need to strengthen the socio-economic fabric of rural areas should go hand in hand with providing appropriate funds for their implementation and CONSIDER that the budget dedicated to the future CAP shall be up to the ambitious environmental and climatic challenges.
  • STRESS that while the European Union enhance the requirements for its farmers to fight against climate change, it is necessary to agree on ambitious rules regarding trade and sustainability in comprehensive EU free trade agreements, in order to promote a fair competition for EU farmers.
  • As regards the necessity to protect farmer’s income, SUPPORT the establishment of a multiannual and responsive crisis reserve dedicated to the agricultural sector. That reserve should be appropriately funded, including a certain level of flexibility in case of a major crisis.
  • ASK FOR extending the authorizations for wine plantings beyond 2030, to offer a long-term perspective for farmers in their investment choices.

AS REGARDS THE NEW DELIVERY MODEL, THE MINISTERS OF AGRICULTURE OF GERMANY, SPAIN AND FRANCE

  • ASK FOR a pragmatic approach in the implementation of the new delivery model, with sufficient flexibility in the annual financial programming and management, as well as in planning outputs, milestones and targets for all types of interventions.
  • UNDERLINE the necessity to respect regional competencies in the Member States in the new delivery model.
  • STRESS the need for an adequate transitional period.
  • CONSIDER that the new delivery model for the measures covered by the strategy plan must not lead to the coexistence of two systems: the current system based on conformity rules and the new approach based on performance.
  • NOTE that the difficulties to plan shall be taken into account for the annual performance clearance and the performance review.
  • EXPRESS their deep concern on the proposed approach of unit amounts. The question of the implementation of unit amounts has political implications and is directly linked to the overall objective of a more targeted and tailor-made CAP.
  • Therefore, ASK FOR the possibility to fix an annual maximum unit amount or a percentage of variation, for all interventions regarding planning, no financial corrections should be applied as long as the realized amount is below the maximum.
  • CONSIDER that each intervention should correspond to a single output indicator and that these output indicators shall be rationalised to be measurable, simple to report.
  • CONSIDER that the number of result indicators has to be significantly reduced (one per specific CAP objectives when possible), while checking their relevance to measure progress towards the specific objective to which they relate.
  • ASK FOR keeping the current sectoral programs in the single CMO regulation outside the national strategic plans.
  • SUPPORT the optimisation of the performance review and PROPOSE results to be supervised less frequently than every year. A higher tolerance shall be authorized in case of deviation to the frame fixed by Member States.
 

The joint statement