Goodbye to three long years of negotiations, to set the rules of the game of the new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) 2021-2027, which will not enter into force until next January 1, 2023 and from which 695,000 Spanish farmers and ranchers benefit. The agriculture ministers of the 27 member countries of the European Union (EU) have blessed the principle of agreement reached on Friday between the European Parliament and the Portuguese presidency of the European Council. In this sense, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture Luis Planas has stressed that it is about a "good deal" for Spain and remembered that now the ball is in the field of play of the national governments. For this reason, the minister has urged them to emulate their European counterparts and achieve "A great national agreement" on the application of the CAP in Spain (47,724 million euros) for the next few years. I mean, about the future National Strategic Plan which must be sent to Brussels before the end of the year, and on which Planas hopes to reach a 'political agreement' as soon as possible. In this regard, it has confirmed that the Sectorial Council of Agriculture (Government and autonomous communities) will meet next week.
In a press conference, Planas explained the main points of the agreement signed by the Ministers of Agriculture, who are meeting in Luxembourg today and tomorrow. The 27 have set that the eco-schemes 25% of direct aid, although this condition has been made more flexible for countries like Spain. In such a way that in the years 2023 and 2024 these can represent between 20% and 25% of the aid. A flexibility which, according to Planas, may be used for other objectives of the first pillar (direct payments) of the CAP or for "training tasks" for farmers and ranchers.
About competition with products from third countries Under equal conditions in the Community market, a very sensitive issue in areas of Spain such as the Valencian Community, European ministers have commissioned the Commission to carry out a ad hoc report to be published in 2022 on the production conditions of agri-food products. In addition to having signed three statements, one signed by the Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament. While a second document has been endorsed by MEPs and the European Council. The third is a communication from the Commission.
In this matter, Spain has also achieved that table olives can benefit from private storage aid and that the fruit and vegetable sector can benefit from extraordinary financial support in the event of plant diseases or pests. The extension of the market observatories to all agricultural sectors has also been agreed.
It is not the only novelty. Regarding the level of convergence in the number of payment regionsThese should be drastically reduced: For the perception of CAP payments, Spain is divided into 50 regions and, in Europe, only Greece is behind us with 4 regions. In this sense, in reference to the so-called redistributive payment, they have agreed to a convergence of 85% in aid at the European level as well as to establish a maximum ceiling, which will define payments to large recipients.
On the other hand, Spain may allocate 20% of the basic payments to the retna for this purpose. In the chapter on sectoral aid, Spain has succeeded in creating a specific program for oil, in line with those existing for fruit and vegetables, as well as for wine or beekeeping. The maintenance of the coupled aids in up to 15%, including those referring to protein crops. For its part, 3% of all planned actions will be aimed at young people (grants of up to 100,000 euros per new installation).
About the so-called 'social dimension', Planas has assured that “a reasonable agreement has been reached because does not imply an additional administrative burden nor will it influence the statements made by farmers and ranchers. Specifically, this control, which will be mandatory in 2025, will basically consist of crossing the registration of aid with the existence or not of health or labor sanctions.
Regarding the Second Pillar of the CAP, which concentrates rural development policies, Planas has highlighted that "The status quo is maintained" reaching up to 45% of the funds and that the so-called 'crisis reserve' do not fall on the backs of farmers "using budget margins preferentially". On the other hand, the head of Agriculture has also commented that support on issues such as irrigation is preserved - on Friday the Ministry of Agriculture signed two agreements with the public company Seiasa for which 500 million will be mobilized for this purpose - as well as a minimum of 5% of the funds for the 'Leader' program of foreign promotion, among other aspects.
Similarly, the Minister of Agriculture has confirmed that the vineyard planting rights They will run from 2030 to 2045.