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Common Agricultural Policy 2014: Analysis

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Common Agricultural Policy 2014: Is it for the best? If yes, for whose?

Bălașa Mihai-Rafael

 

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to address the aspects surrounding the arrival of the new Common Agricultural Policy in 2014. After a thorough discussion we will form an opinion on whether the new policy will be in ‘trend’ with the new direction the European Union is trying to push the member states, or even more, whether it is too ahead of its time or actually the opposite. In brief words, the new policy consists of tweaks in regulations which confront in a more direct way a ‘new’ battle front for the future of Agriculture: environmental issues. Or

Introduction

With the future EU agricultural policy agriculture a more reliable and stable framework is expected for the coming years. It is agreed that the agricultural policy in Europe ecological and sustainable. The essence of the reform is an effective greening. This is not only a longer reach to Ecology but also the principle of 'Public money for public services' even more to the fore.

In the final negotiations on 24 September 2013, Council, European Parliament and the Commission had agreed on improved funding conditions for structurally weak regions and the absence of a stronger redistribution of direct payments.

In the overall package of the elements introduced by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture approach was anchored, all establishments to provide for a limited amount of its faces an additional promotion instead of unilaterally cut back on the large farms. Through this new instrument smaller farms are targeted better off.

The future

After years of intensive negotiations between the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and the European Commission, the reform package for the design of future Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union was formally decided.

Following the European Parliament and the Council of Agriculture has approved the overall package and the transition rules for 2014 on 16 December 2013, Brussels.

Agriculture, rural areas and environmental protection will be strengthened. With the future EU agricultural policy agriculture a more reliable and stable framework is expected for the coming years. It is agreed that the agricultural policy in Europe ecological and sustainable. The essence of the reform is an effective greening. This is not only a longer reach to Ecology but also the principle of 'Public money for public services' even more to the fore.

In the final negotiations on 24 September 2013, Council, European Parliament and the Commission had agreed on improved funding conditions for structurally weak regions and the absence of a stronger redistribution of direct payments. In the overall package of the elements introduced by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture approach was anchored, all establishments to provide for a limited amount of its faces an additional promotion instead of unilaterally cut back on the large farms. Through this new instrument smaller farms are targeted better off.

The new design possibilities will allow any of the member states to meet in the national implementation of the special role of family farms according to the respective local conditions.

The agreement reached funding gaps and breaks can be avoided and instead planning security and reliability for a strong rural, area-based agriculture are guaranteed in Germany. In spite of the enormous pressure to cut costs, it should so continue to be a strong first pillar (direct payments) and a well-funded second pillar (provide support for rural development).

First aspect

The Greening has the direct payments means that farmers only receive 30 percent of their direct payments, if they yield tangible environmental benefits. These include the maintenance of permanent grasslands (such as meadows and pastures), increased crop diversification (greater diversity in the selection of cultivated crops), and the provision of so-called "ecological focus areas" on farmland.

After the agreement now reached farms must always provide an initial five percent of their arable land as ecological compensation areas from 2015. These areas shall be used in the environmental interest, an agricultural productive use is subject to certain conditions (e.g. when growing nitrogen-fixing plants) but permitted.

Is funded through direct payments in the first place, the area is no longer as before the production.

A special support to get young farmers, for their support, the member states must provide two per cent of their national direct payments.

The second aspect

In addition to promoting farmers on direct payments under the first pillar, the second major goal of the future Common Agricultural Policy is to shape the future for people in rural areas attractive. For this purpose, in the second pillar funds in the amount of 1.2 billion Euros per year are to promote rural development. Thus, for example, the necessary conditions for village development projects or the expansion of broadband and thus also for livable rural areas and villages with future created.

Also in the future rural development programs, the improvement of the environmental performance of agriculture represents a focus Indeed, member states must have at least 30 percent of their allocated EU funding of the second insert column for environment-related measures such as organic farming or agro-environmental measures.

Implementation

The agreement between the EU Council of Ministers, European Parliament and EU Commission is the basis for discussions between federal and state governments to the national implementation of the CAP2014. A corresponding implementation plan, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture presented the countries Ministers and Ministers in July 2013. , this concept was an essential basis of discussions between federal and state governments and facilitated decision making.

At a special meeting of the Conference of Agriculture Ministers on 4 November 2013 in Munich, the countries have agreed on a compromise on the national implementation of the EU agricultural reform. Focal point is a regionally balanced distribution of financial resources and a specific and greater promotion of rural entrepreneurial agriculture. Regarding promoting rural opened the unanimous decision of the countries agricultural ministers for the distribution of the available funds, the chance of a seamless continuation of the measures from 2014.

Core component of the compromise is greater promotion of small and medium enterprises, henceforth receive the additional premium in the amount of 50 Euros for the first 30 hectares and 30 Euros for the next 15 hectares. Moreover, the resolution provides a dedicated shift of approximately 5 percent of funds from the first to the second pillar in front. These funds are especially for grassland sites and their use by cattle, sheep or goats, and area-based agro-environmental and climate protection measures, for strengthening especially of animal husbandry and animal welfare, for organic farming and for the compensatory allowance in the naturally disadvantaged areas is used.

Because of the delays in the political agreement on the financial framework of the EU, and the entry into force of the new rules on the CAP will be delayed. The new rules for agricultural policy are to apply from 2015. For 2014, there are transitional provisions which - from 2014 to 2020, taking account of financial ceilings of the annual financial framework - represent more or less a continuation of existing arrangements.

Individual elements of the CAP reform package, the member states but already in 2014 apply. It is to be applied in Germany as early as 2014, the strengthening of small and medium-sized enterprises via an additional promotion of the first hectare.

The transitional rules are all farmers in Europe to ensure the timely payment of direct payments as well as the fixed payment of compensatory allowances and payments for agro-environmental measures. Since the states for months will already be working on the development programs for rural development. , farmers will be soon be submitted to the European Commission and the continuity of support measures in the second column to make sure.

Lately, there has been an intensive discussion on the future of European agriculture and its farmers, because since 2012 which was Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) renegotiated.

The CAP is one of the oldest and most important EU policy areas and makes more than 40% of the EU budget. Only every 7 years, the CAP reform; the coming period runs from 2014 to 2020. It is essentially about two areas: Supporting farmers through direct payments (Aspect 1) and the promotion of rural areas (Aspect 2).

The future agricultural policy aims to be greener and fairer towards the environment and its farmers, according to commissioner Dacian CioloÅŸ to the dissatisfaction of many EU citizens with the European agricultural policy, public funds should only provide for public services? The long negotiation process survives with many downturns. However, the result is no more than a tentative groping towards an agricultural policy that can be described as equitable and ecologically.

To all farmers who plan to move across Europe, in order to start an eco-friendly business operation, 30% of direct payments per farm are subject to the following environmental conditions: 5% of the arable land of a business (in case a farm has at least 15 hectares) should be used as ecological priority area. Should the farms have around 20 hectares, at least two or three different crops should be grown per every growing season. When non-compliance with these environmental standards is spotted, the aid may be reduced to 37.5%. Excluded from these requirements are the companies with a lot of permanent crops or those which serve other environmental purpose.

Although this instrument is a first step towards a coupling of the public payments to public services, it is an introduction to a need for ecological change in agriculture certainly not fair. The prescribed crop diversification allows for example to continue large-scale monocultures and differs significantly from an ecological sensible crop rotation. To promote specific social benefits small and medium enterprises adequate and smooth structural disadvantages compared to large farms, member countries can optionally increase the premiums for the first hectare of each operation. Up to 30 percent of the national direct payment sum can be removed from the general distribution and as additional premium for the first to be distributed to a maximum of approximately 50 hectares.

This direct payments go unlike almost exclusively on active agriculturally active land owners, a negative list of industries is introduced, which may no longer receive direct payments in the future, in order to reduce administrative burden.

The ministers of agriculture of the individual EU countries Responsible for the EU agricultural policy was previously next to the Agriculture Commissioner, especially the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries belong. This opens up new possibilities for democratic participation.

After the EU Commission presented its proposals for the development of the Common Agricultural Policy in October 2011, these were discussed in the European Parliament and the Council. Responsible for the issue in the European Parliament which is the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the first the legislative proposals considered before the plenary of the European Parliament also decided in March 2013. In parallel, negotiation meetings of the national agriculture ministers at the level of the EU Council of Ministers on the design of the CAP and agreed in March 2013 on a common position. Finally agreed all three parties involved (Commission, Parliament and Council) after two and a half months end of June on the final version of the new CAP, which is expected in the bodies yet to be formally agreed in the fall of 2013.

Until the end of 2013 there was debate about the individual member states on their national scope and their specific incentive deals in the second column, the agricultural ministries of the federal states play a major role in Germany. A slight majority of committee members voted this for amendments which have little of the originally planned Greening of direct payments left. On March 13, 2013 the House voted the EU Parliament about his mandate to from CAP reform. The majority were, though not adopted all dilutive amendments to the Agriculture Committee and rejected almost all other proposals for further greening (see Article EU Parliament votes to de-greening). EU farm ministers agreed on 19 March to their positions on the CAP reform.

After about 30 sessions since mid-April in the so-called dialogue lead to the agreement between Commission, European Parliament and European Council on 26 June based on their mandates on a final compromise, which in the fall of 2013 was adopted as planned. Now on a national level until the beginning of 2014 discussed and decided how the reform - is concretely implemented - with many optional elements.

The new regulations will in fact generally the first January 2014 to come into force, but some important elements as well as the Greening should only be made ​​from 2015 apply. Since Europe and in the individual member states have yet to go through many administrative procedures for implementation, the commission proposed in particular of the direct payments transition rules for 2014 before.

Conclusions

In spite of the challenges which appeared along the way, one of the most notable being the public setting itself against it due to mostly social and financial reasons, the proposed Common Agriculture Policy for 2014 was successfully passed and it is to be implemented in every member stated to the fullest by 2019. In my opinion, this was a must, as the new regulations will apparently have positive ramifications across a variety of matters, which include social, economic, and most importantly environmental. I believe this new policy, if applied correctly throughout the member states, will have a significant positive impact not only the way we run agricultural operations, but also the way the public will perceive it, hopefully even attracted more and more individuals in this field. Overall, it is in everyone’s best interest, although the European funds will, for the first time, be used on a matter which is not social.

 

References

Department for Environment, 2014, Reforming the Common Agricultural Policy to ensure a fair deal for farmers, consumers and taxpayers, Government Digital Service

https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reforming-the-common-agricultural-policy-to-ensure-a-fair-deal-for-farmers-consumers-and-taxpayers/supporting-pages/implementation-of-the-new-common-agricultural-policy-cap-regulations-in-england

European Commission, 2014, The Common Agricultural Policy after 2013, Agriculture and Rural Development Department

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-post-2013/

European Commission, 2013, Overview of CAP Reform 2014-2020, Agriculture and Rural Development Department

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/policy-perspectives/policy-briefs/05_en.pdf

IFAB, 2012, Common Agricultural Policy from 2014 –Perspectives for more Biodiversity and Environmental Benefits of Farming

http://www.bfn.de/fileadmin/MDB/documents/themen/landwirtschaft/CAPEnvironment-study-results-nov2012en_Fin.pdf

European Commission, 2013, CAP post-2013: Speeches and press releases, Agriculture and Rural Development Department

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-post-2013/speeches/index_en.htm

Potori, N., Kovacs, M., Vasary, V., 2013, The Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020: and impact assessment of the new system of direct payments in Hungary, Studies in Agricultural Economics

http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/161079/2/1318-potori_v3.pdf

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