by Keith Zahra
The European Council and Parliament agreed to extend support European farmers under the current legal framework until the end of 2022 when the new Common Agricultural Policy will enter into force.
Extending the current rules for two more years and until the new CAP is agreed and enforced, gives much needed predictability and certainty to all farmers across Europe during the COVID-19 crisis. The EU will continue to fund rural development programmes and to grant support to European farmers through direct payments while ensuring a smooth transition to the next CAP period.
Given the current state of play of the CAP reform discussions in the European Parliament and Council as well as of the ongoing MFF negotiations, it became clear that the legislative procedure would not be concluded in time to apply the new rules and the CAP Strategic Plans as of 1 January 2021. It was therefore necessary to plan for a transitional period.
The extension will allow for uninterrupted payments to farmers and other beneficiaries. Moreover, within these two years, member states will have time to prepare their strategic plans under the new CAP legislation and to plan for their implementation after approval by the Commission.