The CAP transition measures that were published today by the EU are likely to result in a 11% cut in every farmer’s direct payment in October 2020, with further more severe cuts in farm schemes under the CAP’s second pillar. Farmers cannot afford these cuts. Commenting on the Commission’s publication, Pekka Pesonen, Copa-Cogeca Secretary General said, “We cannot accept that the CAP budget sees a cut as significant as the one proposed in the MFF. The CAP budget must be, at least, maintained in real terms. This also implies that during the transition period there cannot be any cuts to the funding. Member States must be able to deliver direct payments to their farmers in full and also continue to support the measures currently supported under Pillar II.”
Copa and Cogeca also recognise the need for a swift decision on the transitional regulation to provide farmers and their cooperatives with stability and financial continuity. According to Pekka Pesonen, “since it is not possible to have the future CAP implemented from 1st January 2021, it is important to secure a transitional set of rules that should function as a bridge between the two set of rules – the current CAP and the CAP post 2020. Any new measures and interventions should only come with the CAP post 2020. For this, we need a clear commitment and timely decision from the European Parliament.”
Another crucial point is the timeline of the transition regulation. While work on the CAP post 2020 progresses, the transition should ensure a smooth evolution of rules. It should allow Member States to have the time to properly develop their Strategic Plans, the European Commission the time to approve them in order for Member States to be able to effectively implement them. In the eyes of farmers and cooperatives, this would mean that on the last day of the transition period, all Member States would need to have operational Strategic Plans that are ready to be put in place the next day. In this regard, we must also ensure adequately timed progress on the CAP post 2020 work, ironing out any hurdles that could hamper the new rules.