Did the Commission deliver a greener and fairer CAP?

After covering the CAP reform process closely over the past couple of years, EU policy broadcaster – viEUws – have now released a ‘wrap up’ version of their Brussels Briefings on Agriculture. In the last 6 months, with Ireland holidng the EU Council Presidency, an agreement has been reached on the EU long-term budget, the Common Fisheries Policy and most recently – the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). A lot to report on!

This final briefing provides:

• An overview of main elements in CAP reform package

• A look at the main sticking points in negotiations

• A brief analysis of what these new CAP rules mean for farmers on the ground

It also questions whether or not the EU Commission have delivered a greener and fairer food and farming policy in Europe, as promised at the beginning of this round of reform.

Whilst environmental groups have been highly critical of the results saying the final deal is weak, with too many exemptions; the Commission maintains that it has provided a more sustainable policy, with Direct Payments now linked to fulfillment of new environmental requirements. EU Commissioner Cioloş has called it a true paradigm shift, and a fundamental change for the CAP:

Elsewhere, while the reform has gone some way in making payments fairer for farmers; some, such as new Member States, would argue the transition is too slow.

Finally, highlighting increased flexibility in the policy which will enable countries to shift funding according to their priorities, the video ends with an important question: Does this mark the beginning of a new re-nationalization of the common policy, or is this flexibility simply a necessity with the CAP now representing 28 countries with vastly varying farms?