Amendment to CAP basic acts - simplification

EESC opinion: Amendment to CAP basic acts - simplification

Key points


  • welcomes the fact that, in line with its previous opinions, the European Commission has proposed several measures to increase flexibility and ease administrative burdens for EU farmers with a view to reinforcing food sovereignty and improving farm incomes;
  • underlines some limitations and uncertainties of the current proposal:
    • highlights that this proposal will not solve the main problem faced by farmers, which is the unfair value distribution across the food supply chain preventing them from receiving a fair income for their food production and calls for the other elements proposed by the European Commission in the package  to be quickly presented and adopted;
  • notes that flexibility should not mean decreased ambitions and a weakened green architecture of the reformed CAP; only if farmers are economically sustainable will it be possible to have greater environmental ambitions, including through conditionality;
    • considers that farmers should be adequately supported through the transition, and that the proposed measures on the so-called ‘non-productive features’ might lead to results that are even more positive than initially planned by the CAP, as long as sufficient and adequate additional financial resources are made available;
    • recommends that the impact of these simplifications be assessed as early as possible in 2025 at Member State level, looking in particular at effects on farmers’ income and on the total amount of surfaces or features for biodiversity purposes;
    • stresses the need for adequate training programmes, aimed at increasing knowledge on greening measures for farm advisors and farmers;
    • reiterates its recommendation to provide more support for farmers to deal with the needed controls while not being convinced about the proposal to exempt farmers with under 10 hectares from the controls and penalties; points out that controls and penalties remain a problem for all types of farms and that such a measure would divide European farmers on a legally unjustified base, while believing that some exemptions or a decrease in frequency might be appropriate, in particular for small farmers;
    • while agreeing with the urgency of these proposals, highlights that civil society should have been consulted in a different way on these proposals and urges the European Commission to ensure that all stakeholders are properly consulted on the implementation of these measures and on the other elements proposed in the package.