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Debate on Future CAP Begins

ICOS President, Martin Keane & CEO, TJ Flanagan at Copa-Cogeca in Brussels
ICOS President, Martin Keane & CEO, TJ Flanagan at Copa-Cogeca in Brussels

On February 2, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, launched the debate on the future of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, with the opening of a public consultation. This online consultation seeks contributions from producers, NGOs and citizens in order to shape the design and policy priorities of the CAP post 2020.

The questionnaire, which is open until May 2, includes 34 questions, first reviewing the current CAP and then seeking information on future objectives. Presenting the details of the consultation at a Copa Cogeca Praesidia meeting on February 9, Hogan announced that it had already received over 7000 responses. The results will be presented at a stakeholder conference on July 7.

At the same time, the Commission will be carrying out an impact assessment on the social, economic and environmental impacts of five possible reform options, which range from maintaining the status quo to dismantling the policy entirely. This aims to demonstrate the drawbacks of the current policy as well as the value that the CAP brings overall.

The results of both of these exercises will feed into a communication from Commissioner Hogan in November 2017. The Commission will then publish a legislative proposal in early 2018.

In his speech to Copa-Cogeca, Commissioner Hogan outlined the following as key policy considerations for the CAP post 2020:

  • Enhanced risk management tools (insurances, mutual funds, and income stabilisation tools). For example, it is believed that these tools will be moved from the 2nd (rural development/co-financed) to the 1st (direct support/fully EU funded) CAP pillar and will be compulsory for Member States to introduce;
  • More flexible and targeted market safety net tools, in light of the increasing price volatility and sectoral crises in recent years;
  • Stronger focus on farming sustainably, environmental protection and climate change. It is likely that the Commission proposal will include an increased percentage of basic payment for greening, enhanced incentives for investment in new technology and support for advisory services on how to better integrate the results of research into common practice;
  • Focus on young farmers, land mobility and improved access to credit;
  • Reduced administrative burden and overall simplification.

ICOS is currently preparing its position on the future CAP and will be submitting a response to the public consultation in the coming weeks. We would welcome your feedback, by contacting: alison.graham@icos.ie

By Alison Graham

European Affairs Executive

Tags: CAP, Phil Hogan