Farm Europe welcomes the decision of Comagri Members to take sufficient time
Farm Europe welcomes the decision of Comagri Members to take sufficient time to improve the CAP reform proposals.
Yesterday, the MEPs in charge of the CAP reform within the AGRI committee of the European Parliament decided that the debate on the reform of the CAP will not go beyond Comagri’s position during the current legislature.
Farm Europe fully understand this decision considering the challenges raised by the Commission’s proposals, in particular with the new delivery model, which has to be improved in order to present a real simplification for the beneficiaries and guarantee a level playing field all across Europe.
The reports of the rapporteurs are offering a good basis to improve the Commission’s proposal but the Horizontal Regulation, which is the cornerstone of the proposal, still calls for major improvements.
The decision of the MEPs on the timing will allow a smooth process in order to shape an efficient and ambitious CAP. All the input of the current rapporteurs will be key to feed the position of the future Parliament and of the future Commission.
At this stage, the Commission proposal puts the “C“ -the “Commonness” – of the CAP at risk with 3 layers of controls and clearance of accounts as:
– Compliance would remain as burdensome for farmers and Members States (or even worse as MSs would need to define their own national horizontal framework);
– For the annual performance and multi-annual performance: two layers of checks, reports and possible clearances, which would not provide any concrete picture of the real performance of the policy as the indicators would not provide sound information but only count the administrative statistics without any feedback on the real impact of the measures. This skewed presentation could cost the credibility of the CAP when intermediate assessments are released, as no real indicators would provide data on the environmental and economic performance of the CAP.
The solution to remedy these faulty provisions could be:
– to include the simplification provision that the Commission should only control the Member States’ certification bodies and not double check in payment agencies or in farms – and keep a clear EU compliance ;
– to abolish the annual performance indicator (output indicators) which has no meaning other than an additional administrative burden for the Member States and for the Commission and replace it by a transfer of certified statistics from the Member States to the Commission ;
– to put a multi-annual performance framework on the basis of a limited number of impact indicators and require, between now and the progress of the discussions, the Commission to come up with proposals for tangible impact indicators as well as feasible proposals on how to follow them.
In the meantime, a real push for a digitalisation of EU farming should be launched in order not only to improve the competitiveness and reduce the environmental footprint of food production but also to shape meaningful indicators in order to strenghten and deliver a performance-based CAP.
And clarity should be given on the technical measures to allow a smooth transtion between the current CAP and the next one which will need more time to enter into force.