The much-needed adjustments of the mid-term reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) through the so-called Omnibus Regulation are on their way: "We have made a necessary breakthrough to adjust key elements across the agricultural policy to the benefit of our farmers by providing them with more flexibility as well as granting more security, but also to lift the green credentials of the policy as a whole", said Rapporteur Albert Deβ MEP after today's vote on the Omnibus Regulation in the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee.
The aim of the agreement between the Commission, the Council and the Parliament is to adjust the CAP on several key aspects. "The compromise reached means better possibilities for our farmers to choose the best suitable greening methods. It gives more certainty on permanent grassland and provides several simplifications for the regulations, for example by providing a clearer definition of who qualifies as an active farmer. The agreement also provides our farmers with better risk management possibilities", explained Deβ, the EPP Group Spokesman on Agriculture.
One of the main achievements for the EPP Group is the strengthening of biodiversity: "It is a great success that in the future, honey plants, perennial silphie and elephant grass can also be cultivated on ecological focus areas as part of the greening. Moreover, the weighting factor for protein crops was raised from 0.7 to 1.0", said Deβ. Furthermore, the threshold for activating risk management instruments was lowered and hence more accessible to farmers. For young farmers, the positive signal is that independently of their entry-into-force status as young farmers, they are entitled to a full five years young farmers’ scheme.
The new regulations should not be delayed. "It is of the upmost importance that the agreement enters into force at the beginning of 2018. Our farmers must be in a position to implement the positive changes to the policy as soon as possible. Most farmers across the EU will benefit from the changes and we need to let them know that the CAP is more tailored towards their needs. Sound working conditions and a practical orientation of the policy are essential for farmers in order for them and the rural areas as a whole to have a vital farming sector", concluded Albert Deβ.