Karl-Heinz Lambertz (BE/PES), President of the European Committee of the Regions, had this to say about the proposal for the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) presented today by the European Commission: "The drastic cuts to the rural development budget, the increase of co-financing for rural development policy and the removal of rural development funding via the CAP from cohesion policy mean that it will not be possible to preserve farming in every region or to safeguard a living countryside in order to meet the territorial cohesion objective enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty".
It is crucial, according to the CoR President, to take rural areas into consideration not only under the CAP, but in all European policies: their needs extend far beyond what the rural development pillar of the CAP can deliver. Consequently, the Commission must strike a better territorial balance by taking account of the specific needs of rural and peri-urban areas, especially under cohesion policy.
The CoR's rapporteur on The CAP after 2020, Guillaume Cros (FR/PES), Vice-President of the Regional Council of Occitanie, emphasised that "many farmers sell their produce at a loss, and their earnings do not match their work. In the absence of fair farm prices and with no economic recognition, young people continue to shun farming. And the regulation on the common organisation of the market proposed today by the Commission will not be enough to head off crises in the sector. The Commission should provide farmers with more tools to regulate the market that would be more effective and cheaper than taking measures after a crisis has occurred".
While the Committee welcomes the fairer distribution of direct payments between EU Member States and the introduction of a redistributive payment for the first hectares, it has doubts about the real scope of the Commission's proposals on capping and degressivity. It calls on the Commission to evaluate the percentage of aid that could effectively be redistributed to small farmers in each Member State through these new redistribution mechanisms.
CoR opinion on The CAP after 2020
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