After failing to reach an agreement during the CAP trilogue, considered key by stakeholders from all parts, Copa and Cogeca are extremely disappointed with the state of discussions on the future of the CAP. This failure was foreseeable due to the weakness and poor understanding of the Agriculture Commissioner regarding the reality of farming in Europe.
In a letter sent today to European President Von der Leyen, Copa and Cogeca asked that, “The Commission be an honest broker to facilitate a political agreement between the co-legislators.” European negotiators must urgently get their act together and assume their responsibility to reach a compromise that safeguards both the economic and environmental performance of the farming sector.
The Common Agricultural Policy determines the support for millions of farmers who provide for our food security, our strategic independence, and the sustainability of our territories. Do we really realise what is at stake today in Brussels, especially after the dangers to the food supply chain we escaped during COVID-19? The resilience that we have managed to retain must not be considered a given.
The current CAP has major environmental requirements for farmers and their cooperatives. The new enhanced conditionality, the proposed eco-schemes and the environmental and climate measures in Pillar 2 will lead to higher and increased efforts by the EU farmers, far exceeding those of any other farmers in the world. Farmers are the ones in the field and are the first to feel the effects of climate change or biodiversity loss. Over the years, farmers have been committed to becoming more sustainable and doing more for the environment and climate change. We are committed to the CAP and its good performance. Contrary to the claims of some NGOs that have never set foot on a farm, this is not greenwashing but a major challenge to small and large farms alike.
The Council, the Members of the European Parliament and the Commission should trust farmers to put in the extra effort. The main elements for an agreement are on the table. We really count on the Commission to facilitate a political agreement between the co-legislators. We really count on the European Parliament and the Council for their swift approval of the package after years of negotiations. The sooner we have an agreement, the sooner we can take further concrete actions on the ground.