MEPs of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament today gave the green light that 20 percent of direct aid from the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) be allocated to "eco-schemes", which will include practices to protect the environment and animal welfare.
This aspect is included in the proposal for a regulation on national strategic plans in the future CAP, one of the three texts of this policy, which is expected to be applied during the period 2021-2027.
Spanish MEP Esther Herranz (PPE) said in a statement that the "eco-schemes", which will be voluntary, will "improve farmers' commitment to the environment, in line with the growing demands of society in those areas"
In addition, the approved opinion requires that at least 60% of direct aid envelopes in the hands of the countries be used to guarantee a basic income for European farmers.
On the other hand, it foresees the establishment of a maximum aid threshold for exploitation of 100,000 euros (compared to 60,000 proposed by the European Commission) or the obligation to transfer at least 10 percent of national envelopes of direct aid to farms. small and medium-sized companies, in order to achieve a fairer distribution of CAP funds.
In the area of Rural Development, the report foresees to maintain the current competences on design and management of the programs in the hands of the autonomous communities.
According to Herranz, the text achieves "a balance between the economic interests of farmers and the need to have a CAP that is more respectful with the environment, as well as greater financing of the CAP in depopulated regions".
"The text adopted today by the commission of Agriculture of the Eurochamber accentuates, in general lines, support to all areas of high environmental value" he said.
For their part, the liberals of the ALDE group valued the idea of "more payments based on results" and greater protection of the environment and "focusing on a more modern and simplified CAP".
MEP Lidia Senra (independent member of the Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left) criticized the text supported by the Agriculture Committee and considered that despite using terms such as active farmer, bioeconomy or eco-schema, "basically nothing changes".
The parliamentarian assured that "the same agro-industrial policies will be destructive of the rural environment" maintaining support for intensive agriculture, payments per hectare or polluting livestock. "