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EU Council to ease environmental conditionalities under Common Agricultural Policy

The EU Council gave its final green light to a targeted review of the common agricultural policy (CAP) by formally adopting a targeted review of certain basic acts.

The review comes as a response to concerns voiced by farmers in recent months and takes into account the impact of geopolitical developments, such as the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and extreme weather events.

“This targeted review of the common agricultural policy is a concrete result of our efforts to cut red tape and ensure simplification for farmers. The adoption comes only two months after the proposal was presented by the Commission. This clearly demonstrates we are delivering on the promises we have made to European farmers,” underlined David Clarinval, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Self-Employed, SMEs and Agriculture, Institutional Reforms and Democratic Renewal.

The review addresses certain elements of the CAP strategic plans regulation and the regulation on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy (the ‘horizontal regulation’). It comes as a response to issues encountered during the first year of implementation of the new CAP.

The updated rules promise simplification, less administrative burden and greater flexibility for complying with certain environmental conditionalities while ensuring a predictable framework for farmers.

It’s intended to strike a careful balance between the need to maintain the sustainability ambitions contained in the current CAP and ensuring that farmers’ concerns are effectively and promptly addressed.

The law will now be signed by the representatives of the Council and the European Parliament. It will then be published in the Official Journal and enter into force on the day following its publication, by the end of May. Farmers will be able to retroactively apply some of the new rules related to environmental conditionalities for the claim year 2024.

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