Portugal: Common Agricultural Policy reform is priority of country’s EU presidency – minister of agriculture

The completion of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a priority of the Portuguese Presidency of the EU, Agriculture Minister Maria do Céu Antunes said on Tuesday in Brussels.

“We will be committed over the next six months to completing the reform of the CAP, which is crucial to ensuring the resilience of the agricultural sector and a fair transition to a greener architecture, with income production, where food reaches our consumers at fair prices,” she said.

According to the minister, the Portuguese presidency of the EU Council will have to respond to “the challenge of Europe’s recovery, a Europe that wants to be more resilient, more global but also better prepared for the challenges.

Among the challenges facing the EU, she highlighted “digital and green”, stressing the need for an architecture that values our natural resources.

The new CAP is expected to place greater demands on the adoption of good environmental practices, with governments having greater flexibility in drawing up measures and allocating funding through their National Strategic Plans.

The European Commission proposes total funding for the CAP of € 348.3 billion in constant prices (€391.4 billion in current prices).

This total amount is the sum of €258.3 billion (€290.7 billion in current prices) for the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF – direct payments and market expenditure) and €90 billion (€100.7 billion in current prices) for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

The Common Agricultural Policy was established in 1962 and its last reform dates from 2013.

The current CAP rules expire on 31 December 2020 and should be replaced by transitional rules for two years until the negotiations for its reform are concluded and approved by Parliament and the Council, giving Member States time to launch the new policy and to inform and prepare farmers.