Austria sees opportunities for negotiation in the new architecture of the CAP presented by the EC
The Austrian Minister of Agriculture considers the gradual reduction of aid to large farms to be positive.
The Common Agricultural Policy is the oldest and at the same time the most important communitarised policy area of the European Union. In total, around 408 billion euros will be invested in agriculture and rural areas in the EU over the period 2014-2020. At first glance, this sum seems to be very high, but if all the policy areas were shared, the agricultural budget would only account for 0.3 percent of the total EU budget. For the following financial period, the proposal of the European Commission provides for a cut to around € 365 billion.
"Few EU policies face such challenges, challenges and expectations as the Common Agricultural Policy. All you have to do is think about climate change, "said Minister of Sustainability Elisabeth Köstinger, adding:" We want food with ever higher environmental, animal welfare, climate protection and production standards. Our farmers deliver this quality. But it also has to have its price. There will be no higher standards at the same prices and conditions in the future. "
The legislative proposals to shape the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy after 2020 were presented today by Commissioner Phil Hogan. The Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism sees this draft as a suitable basis for negotiations. "Central to me is that we discuss the agricultural model of the future. We live in an affluent society and the common agricultural policy must counteract this trend. Our model envisages multifunctional, nationwide and sustainable agriculture, also in the less favored areas, and we will also discuss and intensify this position in the course of the Council Presidency. Quality rather than quantity must generally be the motto in Europe, "says Köstinger.
Environmental measures and less bureaucracy
Among other things, the Commission proposal includes a summary of environmental requirements under the first pillar of the common agricultural policy. The Federal Ministry sees this quite positively. "For all adjustments, however, a certain continuity and planning certainty must be guaranteed. We can not make any changes at European level making more bureaucracy happen at the same time. The environmental measures in the first pillar (greening) were too complicated. The new architecture of the Common Agricultural Policy therefore also offers opportunities, "says Köstinger.
Realistic funding ceiling in Europe imperative
The European Commission's proposals for the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy also provide for capping (funding ceilings). According to this, the annual direct payments per farm starting from 60,000 are to be gradually reduced and limited to a ceiling of 100,000 EUR. "We will not close the discussion in Europe. Every effort towards maximum funding is very positive. Our Austrian farmers are among the micro-enterprises in European comparison and therefore we have to conduct the debate Europe-wide. It is not the agricultural factories but the family farms that are to be the agricultural model of the future in Europe. I see the model presented by Commissioner Hogan with the gradual reduction as a good starting point for the negotiations, "said Köstinger. Austrian agriculture is small in European comparison. An average farm in Austria has 20 hectares, in Germany around Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania about 270 hectares.
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