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AGRI MEPs join the local leaders call for giving regions a stronger role in managing EU investment on agriculture and rural development  

Regional and local representatives from the European Committee of the Regions’ commission for natural resources (NAT) shared the results of a survey on the regional dimension of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) National Strategic Plans during a joint hearing with the European Parliament AGRI Committee. Results indicate that the current CAP is less flexible and risks overlooking regional needs. 

The current CAP implementation model has lowered its regional component, increased its complexity, and decreased its flexibility when it comes to adjusting support measures for farmers, especially in times of crisis: these are the key results of the consultation run by the European Committee of the Regions on the regional dimension of the new CAP Strategic Plans. The consultees were local and regional administrations contacted through the CoR's Regional Hubs Network, created by the CoR to improve feedback to the EU institutions.

During the discussion, Isilda Gomes (PT/PES), Chair of NAT, said: "Top-down policies cannot effectively help Europe's agricultural transition and tackle the increasing depopulation of our rural areas. While the President of the European Commission announced a strategic dialogue on the future CAP, we underline the vital importance of a territorial and bottom-up approach."

MEP Daniel Buda (RO/PPE), stressed that: "We cannot speak of rural development without mentioning the work of regional and local authorities. Our farmers need to form a partnership with regions and to live in an indestructible symbiosis for community development and to ensure food security at the EU level. Improving access to the internet, as well as school, health, and road infrastructure is within the power the local and regional actors and is essential for a quality life for all citizens!"

Best practices designed at regional level were then presented by representatives of the Azores (Portugal), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (France) and Baden-Württemberg (Germany).

Arnaud Lécuyer, Chair of AGRIREGIONs and vice-president of Brittany, said: "To achieve the objectives of the CAP and meet the challenges of the transitions and opportunities facing European agriculture, the European Union must take ever greater account of the geographical and agricultural diversity of our EU regions."

The results of this consultation will feed into the CoR's own-initiative opinion on the future CAP, to contribute to the strategic dialogue on the future CAP with all EU institutions and with stakeholders.   ​

Background:

  • The Regional Hubs Network of the CoR monitors the implementation of EU policies on the ground and make sure that the voices of hundreds of regional and local stakeholders are taken into account when these policies are evaluated at European level. The RegHub report on the regional dimension of the CAP Strategic Plans is available here.
  • Regions have been increasingly involved in the drafting, management and evaluation of the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) since its creation in 2000. During the 2014-2020 programming period, 8 Member States chose a regionalised approach– Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, Portugal, Finland and the UK – and 118 Rural Regional Development Programmes were drafted. EU countries implement the CAP 2023-27 with a CAP Strategic Plan at national level which may include regional interventions.
  • On the occasion of the 2023 Annual Report on the State of Regions and Cities in the European Union, the CoR warned that 30 million people are expected to 'disappear' from Europe's rural areas between 1993 and 2033. A long-term approach to rural areas must equip them with investment in their green and digital transitions to effectively fight depopulation and attract young talent. The report also shows that 59 % of European elected officials surveyed want to increase the influence of their cities and regions in European environmental policies.
  • The AGRIREGIONS Coalition is the voice of 19 European regions mobilised to defend a fair and sustainable agriculture strengthened by a CAP fully recognising the role of regions. The brochure compiling regional intervention designed by the members of the AGRIREGIONS can be downloaded here.​
  • ​Webstreaming of the NAT-AGRI meeting is available here.

Contact:

Hélène Dressen

Tel. +32 471 50 27 95

helene.dressen@cor.europa.eu

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