European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) in the year 2021

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EGSZB-vélemény: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) in the year 2021

Key points

The EESC:

  • congratulates the Commission on its proposal for a transition year for the CAP (first and second pillars) in 2021; a year without direct aid from the first pillar would have resulted in deficits for all farmers; a year without aid from the second pillar would have interrupted commitments for high environmental and climate objectives and put back investment for modernisation;
  • is pleased that the conditions for receiving aid between 2020 and 2021 are remaining in force, as EU farmers have already got to grips with conditionalities and greening;
  • warns of the risk of setting the deadline for notifying changes at 1 August 2020. Too late an agreement on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) might fail to allow timely decisions to be taken at national level;
  • welcomes the fact that second pillar multiannual measures (organic farming and agri-environment-climate measures) are extended by a year, but calls for the duration of the related commitments to be extended to five years, as in the 2014-2020 period. The proposal to limit this to three years will certainly generate red tape and certainly not lead to results for the environment.
  • The Commission's approach in regularising the number and value of basic payment (BPS) entitlements is forward-looking.
  • Convergence of BPS entitlements remains at the discretion of the Member States, in accordance with the subsidiarity principle.
  • The possibility of extending the rural development programmes (RDPs) by a year has to go hand in hand with the possibility of using all second pillar funds not used during the period 2014-2020 after 2020.

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European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) in the year 2021