The capping of direct payments at €100,000/farmer for large beneficiaries will be introduced on a “voluntary” basis under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), according to a document from the European Council.
It said that this will only apply to the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS), which is set to replace the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
“When applying capping, member states may subtract from the amount of Basic Income Support for Sustainability per beneficiary all labour-related costs.” the CAP document reads.
CAP budget of €356.3 billion
Marathon council talks resulted in the allocation of a new CAP budget of €356.3 billion.
Funding for rural development measures, or pillar two, has been reduced from €15 billion to €7.5 billion.
Ireland will have access to a Brexit contingency fund worth €5 billion.
Pillar I and Pillar II
- Pillar I (market measures and direct payments) will provide direct support to farmers and finance market measures. It will contribute, in particular, through a new environmental architecture, to a higher level of environmental and climate ambition of the Common Agricultural Policy, the document adds. Measures in Pillar I will, as in the current financing period, be funded entirely by the EU budget.
- Pillar II (Rural development) will deliver specific climate and environmental public goods, improve the competitiveness of the agriculture and forestry sectors, promote the diversification of economic activity and quality of life and work in rural areas including areas with specific constraints. Measures in Pillar II will be co-financed by member states.
“A reformed and modernised Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will ensure access to safe, high quality, affordable, nutritious and diverse food.”
“It will support the transition towards an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable and market-oriented agricultural sector and the development of vibrant rural areas.”
“The CAP will continue to deliver on the objectives set out in the Treaties and provide a fair standard of living for the agricultural community. The CAP will also pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals.”
“Account should be taken of the social structure of agriculture and of the structural and natural disparities between the various agricultural regions.”
At least €200/hectare
The document outlines that a new delivery model “bringing both pillars under a single programming instrument” – the CAP Strategic Plan – will ensure that common objectives set at EU level “will be met”.
The share of the CAP expenditure that is expected to be dedicated to climate action shall be 40%.
The external convergence of direct payments will continue, the European Council has confirmed.
All member States with direct payments per hectare below 90% of the EU average will “close 50% of the gap” between their current average direct payments level and 90% of the EU average in six equal steps starting in 2022. This convergence will be financed proportionately by all member states.
Additionally, all member states will have a level of at least €200/hectare in 2022 and all member states shall reach at least €215/ hectare by 2027.