An efficient common agricultural policy deserves the right funding
European agricultural and forestry contractors express their disappointment following the release of the European Commission proposals for the multiannual budget framework for the 2021-2027 period.
The substantial cuts affecting the agricultural budget are raising questions about the possibility to implement an ambitious and modernised Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the coming years.
With a budget of 365 billion euros for the period 2020-2027, the funding allocated to agriculture and rural development is far below the budget of the current period (408 billion euros). “This is a worrying news as the agricultural sector is going from a crisis to another. A well funded CAP is a essential for agriculture in Europe” said Klaus Pentzlin, president of CEETTAR.
While claiming that Europe needs to keep a resilient, sustainable and competitive agricultural sector to ensure production of high-quality, safe and affordable food for its citizens and a strong socio-economic fabric in rural areas as it claims, the European Commission is surprisingly sharply downsizing the only tool it has to achieve these objectives, jeopardising the only truly common policy at a time when citizens are dubious about the added-value of the European Union.
Klaus Pentzlin added “with a CAP primarily focusing on tangible results, as agricultural contractors are proposing for years, Mr Hogan could improve both the efficiency of the CAP and the competitiveness and sustainability of agriculture. We will see what kind of policy he is suggesting for the next decade at the end of May. But in our view this draft budget is a negative signal for the sector”.
CEETTAR is joining the request of other stakeholders, such as CEJA, asking Commissioner Hogan to call on Member States to increase their contributions to ensure a sufficient CAP budget. It is asking as well as the members of the European Parliament to bring an adequate support for the sector during the coming negotiations.