On May 26, EU officials began negotiations on a new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plan.
It will allow directing subsidies to rural development and the environment. The total amount of CAP support will be 387 billion euros. This is about a third of the total EU budget for 2021-2027. The new rules will take effect from 2023. Under the new program, it is planned to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 10 percent by 2050. To do this, by 2023, farmers will increase payments for environmental protection programs to 23, and from 2025 - 25 percent. These are subsidies for the development of organic farming or feed additives to reduce methane emissions from cows.
The negotiators are also discussing a mechanism to support small farmers. One of the proposals was a stricter selection of “active farmers”. Recall that according to the CAP, these include applicants who carry out real agricultural activities on their plots.
Pekka Pesonen, secretary general of the European group of farmers and agricultural cooperatives Copa Cogeca, reminded that farmers need “green” investments. An EU spokesman said that negotiations on the new program should end this week. However, the new proposals were criticized by environmentalists. They believe that most of the subsidies, in fact, will be spent on forms of agriculture that are harmful to nature. The European Environmental Bureau said the authorities' new plans do not contain specific targets to reduce emissions from agriculture. We also note that the deadline for reducing harmful emissions prescribed in the program is unjustifiably overstated.