The EU on Friday reached a deal providing for huge agricultural subsidies
The deal ends a nearly three-year struggle over the future of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which will absorb around a third of the EU’s 2021-2027 budget, spending 387 billion euros in payments to farmers and in support of rural development. , according to Reuters.
Representatives of EU member states and the European Parliament have struck the deal, which aims to shift money from intensive farming practices to nature conservation, and bring the 10% greenhouse gas under control of the EU issued by agriculture.
The new CAP rules apply from 2023 and do not cover Great Britain following its exit from the EU.
“Small family farms will be supported,” said Norbert Lins, chief parliament negotiator, adding that the deal urges farmers to protect the environment.
Campaigners and some lawmakers have said the deal does not align agriculture with the EU’s climate change goals, warning that many measures to encourage farmers to adopt eco-friendly methods environment were weak or voluntary.
The agreement would oblige countries to devote 20% of payments to farmers from 2023 to 2024, rising to 25% of payments between 2025 and 2027, to “eco-programs” that protect the environment.
Examples could include restoring wetlands to absorb CO2, or organic farming, although the rules did not define what would be considered an eco-program. Any funds below these limits that are not spent on eco-programs should instead be spent on green measures in other areas.
The rules require EU countries to redistribute at least 10% of CAP funds to small farms. Countries could avoid this requirement if they use other methods to distribute funds equitably.
Countries must pay 3% of grants to young farmers and should use criteria such as income tests to define who is an “active farmer” and can receive grants – another attempt to prevent large companies from wasting money. silver.
All payments to farmers would be tied to compliance with environmental rules, such as setting aside 3% of arable land for areas where nature can thrive.
The agreement also creates a crisis fund of 450 million euros in case agricultural markets are disrupted by an emergency such as a pandemic.
EU listeners said this week that the current CAP has failed to reduce emissions. Emissions from EU agriculture, half of which come from livestock, have not declined since 2010.
The European Parliament and EU member states must both formally approve the deal.