Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Common Agricultural Policy Reform
The European Commission has proposed, as part of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027, an overall cut of approximately 5% to CAP funding, which is comprised of a 3.9% cut to Pillar 1 (direct payments) and a 15% cut to Pillar 2 (rural development) funding. I have previously stated that this proposal is unacceptable for Ireland, and I have worked closely with Government colleagues, Member State counterparts and Commissioners Hogan and Wojciechowski to ensure that the CAP budget is protected for the next programming period.
In the case of Pillar 2 funding, under the current CAP programme, EU co-financing rates vary by intervention, but average at 53%. The MFF 2021-2027 proposals include an EU average co-financing rate of 43%. If agreed, this new co-financing rate would increase the amount of exchequer funding that has to be made available to fully draw down funding.
As already indicated, I have availed of every opportunity as the negotiations have progressed on the CAP post-2020 to call for the budget to be maintained. This is particularly important in the context of the increasing environmental demands being made of farmers as the level of climate ambition at EU level continues to rise, including on foot of the new European Green Deal announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Final agreement on the next MFF is a matter for Heads of State and Government, and requires unanimity by all Member States at the European Council. The proposed budget must also be agreed by the European Parliament.