EU farm ministers differ on amount of CAP contributions

NEWS 18.11.2019 18:02
Source: Pixabay (ilustracija)

European Union member states have still not come to an agreement on the amount of contributions to the common agricultural policy (CAP) for environment and climate objectives, Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic said on Monday.

“I can say that there is still some disagreement between member states and it seems that there isn’t sufficient concurrence between the Finnish presidency and the European Commission for the future financial, and not just financial, contribution to CAP for environment and climate objectives. I can conclude that during its presidency Croatia will be faced with a big challenge in that regard,” said Minister Vuckovic, who was attending a meeting of EU farm ministers.

Finland has recommended that a fixed percentage or amount be set from both CAP pillars for environment and climate objectives while the Commission has proposed that 30% be allocated only from the second pillar, from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Vuckovic added that Finland had made huge progress in achieving a compromise.

As far as the first CAP pillar is concerned, which includes direct payments, Croatia is in a specific situation compared to other EU member states. As a new member it has a transition period of 10 years during which the share of European funds would gradually increase, which means that funding for direct payments from the European budget would gradually increase.

During the period of 10 yeas the difference up to the set limit of funding would come from the state budget whereas as of 2023 the entire amount would be covered from the EU budget which means that EU funds for direct payments to farmers would increase.

A dispute has arisen between Croatia and the European Commission regarding differing interpretations of provisions from Croatia’s accession agreement. The Commission is of the opinion that the amount for direct payments for 2022 should be €15 million less than Croatia has calculated.

Vuckovic said that Croatia would use all legal and political means to prove that its interpretation of the accession provisions was correct. She added that Croatia, along with other member states, would insist on increasing the EU agriculture budget.