CAP reform: what is it about in two minutes
Under the Common Agricultural Policy (“CAP”), there are two pillars: direct payments and rural development programs. The two combined represent an annual budget of around €59 billion.
In 2018, the European Commission presented the legislative proposals on the future of CAP after 2020. The nine broad goals of the proposals include:
(photo from the European Commission https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/future-cap_en)
The reform will bring a budget of 365 billion Euros for the seven years from 2021 to 2027. In other words, the annual budget on average would be €5 billion less than before.
Apart from the shrinking fund, some environmentalists also critique that the new proposals’ emphasis on the Member states´ bigger role in implementation would make CAP more fragile. This opposes the idea to foster the new green deal. Therefore, more than 3,000 scientists signed a call for action regarding the risks brought by the reform.
During the pandemic, the EU restated its intention to cut pesticide use and boost organic farming. The CAP measures, together with initiatives like the Action Plan on Organic Farming and the Common Fisheries Policy, are to be used to pursue this goal.
Since 2021 and 2022 are designated as the transitional years for the CAP plan 2021–2027. We will see if the reform would bring a greener Europe or the opposite.