Rural Development Civil Dialog Meeting - State of play of future CAP

Report by João Palma and Pablo Silva

EURAF’s vice-president João Palma and Pablo Silva attended the Civil Dialog Meeting on Rural Development, in Brussels, on the 27th February 2019. With these meetings the European commission wants to establish a regular dialogue with non-governmental organizations, socioeconomic interest groups, civil society organizations.

In the meeting, it was discussed several subjects related to the theme.

State of play of the process of the Future CAP

Austrian and Romanian Presidencies, with 30 Council meetings, are trying to reach an agreement, article by article. The Council wants to reduce the environmental requirements. In the Parliament over 8000 amendments to the CAP regulation have been presented. The voting will take place after the elections. 

Questions were raised about the time frame for implementation. Commission informs that they are working on some rules for the CAP transition, in case the regulation is not be approved on time. In this case, the delay for the next CAP implementation will be 1 or 2 years. However, the transition rules will not mean cuts in the budget of the Future CAP.

The strategic plan can be approved in its entirety or partially, and you will see how the negotiations are going.

The Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) will be an important tool for the next CAP with 10 billion for research for next CAP (doubling research budget), where multiactor will continue to play a strong role. The AKIS is also cut in small pieces. It is also adapted to small farmers. Pick it up in the swat analysis if something is failing, to improve the system. Webinars can close farmers together. Some farmers don’t seek advice. Comission recognizes that is needed to seek for those farmers too.

The advisors will not change. If the self-advice of the associations works, new rules will not incorporated. It is simply a consultation to see if everything works correctly.

The advice will be shared, whatever works, public or private, will be maintained, but its impartiality will be observed.

We do not want individual research, we will encourage common research, cooperative among groups and nationalities.

There is a maximum time of 7 years for operational groups, although at the end of this period another group can start with the same criteria if the previous one has not been completed.

The national authorities should advise and help farmers for their incorporation to these aids and means at their disposal.

Risk management is under way

There are price volatility and climatic risks that can produce a boom in imports and can pose a risk for agricultural exploitation. To help the farmer to be resilient against incipient risks, insurance policies are subsidized. Funds for farmers will be put in place in case of losses exceeding 20% instead 305. The article 70 of the CAP strategic plan regulation proposal suggests more freedom, more flexibility, but also compulsory for member states to adopt it.

Questions were raised about the financial impact of these measures. Here the managing authority has to deal. It has to deal with their limits in order to design an effective system to the benefit of farmer.

The farmers will be the owners of the funds, it will not be an insurance, it is a fund at their disposal. The distribution of the budget will be made according to the needs.

Regarding the Development of evaluation systems, they are already being carried out.

The diversity of instruments is being fostered to meet the different needs of farmers, and the allocation of budgets will depend on the needs of each one. The risks will be evaluated by each Member State. The aid is not centralized from Brussels, but it was done in each state. If the farmer is more secure, because he is assured of his production, he will be able to cope with the risk and innovate since he will not have a vital risk.

Study on "The Civil Dialogue Groups for the Common Agricultural Policy – Analysis of EU Policy Consultation" (information point)

Delloite, AFC, Areté, Agra CEAS consulting are leading a study on the analysis of CDG effect on the decisn-making process. Results are expected in the end of the year (8-9 month to make the study).

CDGs participants will be contacted to fill in a online questionnaire.

AECM - European Association of Guarantee Institutions – Lessons learnt

Alex Datema, a dairy farmer with 120 cows brought us Boeren Natuur, a Dutch case on cooperativism to be appreciated (see more here). Boeren nature believes that agricultural cooperatives should manage the media and fosters equi-distribution, i.e. from farm to habitat level with strong role for cooperatives and a shift of responsibilities.

They believe that viable habitats should be generated that are optimal for the farmer and the environment.

Boeren Natuur improved the efficiency from 13000 to 40 contracts to achieve the same results. Cooperative replaced the government responsibilities. Effectiveness with a habitat approach. The farmer is in the lead. Farmer is focused not on the deadlines, but on the goal of the deadlines.

Farmers become more happy with what they are doing as they understand why they are they doing.

The future CAP is the way to obtain the new objectives, keeping the incomes of the farmers. In Boeren Natuur perspective, the new CAP should not reward to have land but how farmers treat that land. Specialization is not the future.

Commission explained that 15 or 20% of the media will be for advice and management. “You have to be very efficient, but it is possible”. The quantity and quality of the water is an objective of the same measure because it results in the benefit of the habitat and its production.

The green architecture - Outcome of the Roundtable on the Green Architecture

Meetings that have taken place, tried a collaboration among different people that represent the different actors of green agriculture, through a new and interactive meeting system.

Conclusions that were obtained in these debates were shown. Some comments:

WWF comments as a member of these round tables: they were fine but they arrived late, the discussion was marked by the depth of what was spoken there,

It has been very productive.

COGECA: It was a very participative act, and the results are very valid but we do not know how many of these conclusions will be taken into account in the future CAP.

We believe that these tables should not replace the civil dialogue meetings, with simultaneous translation, so that language is not a limitation.

See more on this report.

Future of the EU Rural Networks including the outcome of the EU Rural Networks Assembly (discussion point)

The debate on rural development groups will be carried out through rural development networks.

On the 11th and 12th of April there will be an event about the treatment of networks.