Future of CAP: a non-centralised system?

The European Commission is planning to change the current system of the CAP, the Common Agricultural Policy, which absorbs a 40% of the total EU budget. The new system should rely on the principle of subsidiarity, rather than a centralised system as it is currently happening. Traditionally, the countries receive direct payments to farmers, that being Pillar 1 (payments) 70% of the total, while Pillar 2 (rural development funds) receives a smaller proportion. The objective is to transfer some budget from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2, motivating farmers to act green in farming in order to get subsidies.

There has been a general petition by farmers to make amendments to the current policy due to the heavy bureaucratic system. Furthermore, a change is needed on the distribution system, as the funds are obtained mostly by big farm owners (being the payments system based on acreage). With the new system, the subsidies that farmers get will depend on their contribution to environmental and rural development schemes instead.

The new system would be that the European Commission defines the general vision of the European agriculture sector, such as market oversight or environmental rules, and policies are implemented at the national level according to specific needs of the country. On the one hand, this will abolish the centralised rules of farming that the farmers do not agree on, such as crop rotation. However, on the other side, the new system should be closely followed by the Commission to ensure that there is a focus on results and that the desirable impact of subsidies is taking place.

Please find here the complete news about this issue (page 26).