The European Commission (EC) has approved the first set of CAP strategic plans for seven countrieswho can safely start the new program period from January 1, 2023.
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These are: Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The Commission reports that they are committed to the rapid approval of the remaining 21 plans. However, our country has not yet sent a final version of its Strategic Plan after receiving 405 comments on it. Important legislative amendments were not adopted before the dissolution of the 47th National Assembly.
The new CAP has a budget of €270 billion for the period 2023-2027. The seven approved plans amount to over €120 billion, including over €34 billion dedicated exclusively to environmental and climate goals and eco-schemes.
“This amount can be used to promote good soil practices and to improve water management and pasture quality for example“, specified by the EC. The CAP can also promote afforestation, fire prevention, forest restoration and adaptation. Farmers participating in eco-schemes can be rewarded for, among other things, banning or limiting the use of pesticides and limiting soil erosion.
According to the requirements, between 86% and 97% of the national utilized agricultural area of the Member States will be cultivated under good agricultural and environmental conditions. Substantial funding will also support the development of organic production, with most countries aiming to double or even triple their organic acreage. Areas with natural constraints, such as in the mountains or on the coast, will continue to benefit from special funding to support agricultural activity.
Specific support for young farmers features prominently in each approved plan with over €3 billion, which will reach directly to young farmers in the seven countries. The Rural Development Funds will support thousands of jobs and local businesses in rural areas, while improving access to services and infrastructure such as broadband.
In line with the long-term vision for EU rural areas, other instruments such as the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) or the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) will be used.
The Commission also invites Member States to use all opportunities in their strategic plans to strengthen the resilience of their agricultural sector in order to promote food security, in relation to the war in Ukraine.
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