This Next Generation EU must be the starting point for a post-pandemic reality and follow a truly common and coordinated approach anchored on the principles of solidarity, understanding and flexibility. When it comes to agriculture and forestry all necessary tools should be deployed and implemented, from grants to loans and financial instruments in order to incentivise the much-needed investment support for the sector to recover.
European farmers and agri-cooperatives welcome the Commission’s push for a brighter future and the creation of the right conditions for the next generation of EU citizens to be able to work and prosper. The additional focus on cohesion, investments, research, digitalisation, skills and diversification is positive and will surely benefit the agriculture sector.
Copa President Joachim Rukwied stated in this occasion: “The €15 bn increase for Rural Development is a first positive step; however, European farmers remain disappointed with the allocated amounts for the CAP under the revised MFF proposal. The reduction of some 8.8 % in direct support in real terms in a period where so much pressure and expectation is put on farmers is simply unacceptable. It is the right time to show our farmers we are ready to support them in the transition!”
Copa and Cogeca have been calling for the maintenance, in real terms, of CAP support for the past two years and this is now even more relevant in the context of the recently published strategies on Biodiversity and Farm to Fork.
Cogeca President Ramon Armengol commented on the proposals by underlining that “It is positive to see that the European Commission has recognised agriculture and forestry as one of the critical sectors and is willing to provide the right conditions for planning its recovery, especially in view of the current pandemic. We need a strong Union now more than ever before and we need at least the same financial support than with the current MFF. It is crucial that this support, including the Next Generation EU, actually delivers to people on the ground. Therefore, we urge the Council to take a proactive approach to these proposals and reach a swift decision, as there is very little time left, with 2021 only 7 months away.”
Copa and Cogeca, its farmers, forest owners and cooperative members strive to deliver food and biomass produced in a manner that protects the environment, enhances biodiversity, contributes to combating climate change and ensures animal welfare. Their role in contributing to delivering on the objectives of a revised EU Green Deal is crucial.
The European decision makers must now show that their ambitions are also backed-up by the necessary financing and instruments to ensure a truly fair transition for all.