Agriculture ministry welcomes deal on CAP reform

EU

Hungary's agriculture ministry welcomed an agreement among European Union countries on a reform of the bloc's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in a statement issued on Monday, according to news agency MTI.

Following a month of consultations after talks on the new CAP deal broke down at the end of May, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council was successful in convincing the European Parliament to withdraw its proposals that would have hurt European farmers, Minister of Agriculture István Nagy said.

One of the biggest disagreements concerned the rules on subsidies for farmers whose land is smaller than 10 hectares, Nagy said, welcoming that under the new CAP, smallholders will not have to meet the strict requirements applying to crop rotation and non-productive areas.

Another point of debate, the minister said, was the money to be allocated towards environmental and climate protection. He noted that 25% of the funds available from the direct payments to farmers will be allocated towards so-called eco schemes. This arrangement, he said, struck the right balance between competitiveness and fighting climate change.

Also, thanks to the efforts of the central European Visegrád Group, vulnerable sectors like the dairy sector and fruit and vegetable producers will continue to receive adequate support, Nagy added.

The agreement on the CAP reform is crucial for the future of Hungarian farmers, the minister said. 

The reforms will now have to be approved by both the European Council and the EP Member states have until December 31 to submit their CAP strategies to the European Commission.

Following the two-year transitional period, the new CAP regulation is expected to take effect from January 1, 2023, the ministry said.

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