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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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European Parliament approves ‘greener and fairer’ CAP reform

The European Parliament has approved the “greener and fairer” next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

MEPS gave the green light to the reformed version, which also aims to be more flexible and transparent, earlier today (Tuesday, November 23rd).

CAP approved

A debate took place at 9 am, and a final vote on farm policy reform followed at midday. The results of this vote were announced at 4 pm this afternoon.

In June 2021, parliament and council negotiators struck a deal on the new legislative framework.

The aim is to “align” the CAP with the EU’s environmental and climate commitments.

While the Commission will assess whether national CAP strategic plans align these commitments, farmers will have to comply with climate and environmentally-friendly practices.


Member states will be obliged to ensure they will dedicate at least 35% of the rural development budget and at least 25% of direct payments to environmental and climate measures.

MEPs ensured that a minimum of 10% of direct payments will be used to support small and medium-sized farms. At least 3% of the CAP budget will go to young farmers.

They also insisted that a crisis reserve with an annual budget of €450 million (in current prices) will be permanently ready to help farmers with price or market instability.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the parliament said:

“As a result of Parliament’s pressure, EU labour rules in agricultural sectors will be better monitored and infringements penalised thanks to the co-operation between national labour inspectors and CAP paying agencies.”

Information about final beneficiaries of EU support will be more transparent because of an EU data mining tool.

This will help member states identify the risk of fraud occurring by cross-checking information in public databases.

  • The ‘strategic plans regulation’ was adopted with 452 votes in favour, 178 against and 57 abstentions;
  • The ‘Horizontal regulation’ with 485 votes in favour, 142 against and 61 abstentions;
  • The ‘common market organisation regulation’ with 487 in favour, 130 against and 71 abstentions.

Current CAP rules were extended after December 31st, 2020 and replaced by transitional rules until the end of 2022. Once the council approves, the new rules will apply from January 1st, 2023.

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