David McAllister: The EPP has shaped the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform
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David McAllister: The EPP has shaped the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform

The EPP Group shaped the reform. We defended the European model of family farming so that our farmers have confidence in the future and security to invest. The new CAP will keep our food affordable, guarantees quality and combines the economic, social and ecological sustainability of European farming. We are protecting millions of family farms all over Europe and keeping rural communitiesalive.

We worked for sustainable farming by creating incentives, not overregulating.The increased funding for ecological measures is unprecedented. At least 35% of all rural development funding must be used for environmental and climate measuresand 25% of the direct payments must be allocated to eco-schemes. This result is more ambitious than what the Member States wanted and more than the European Commission could foresee.

We worked to keep food production in Europe. Agriculture is a strategic sector that we shall not endanger with populist over-greening demands which will lead to a collapse of our own food production and an increase in cheep food imports from outside Europe. Thanks to the EPP Group, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission recognised in a joint declaration that reciprocity of standards is essential to protect our European model of the family farm. We will observe closely that this commitment is kept.

We gained better administration and less bureaucracy for farmers. The rules of the new CAP at EU level are simpler than before. We increased risk-based rules for organising controls and introduced for the first time the possibility for national administration to correct errors made in good faith by farmers. We strengthened the rules on transparency and tools to avoid conflict of interests to fight against fraud and root out corruption.

The new CAP is fair for all farmers. 10% of the direct payments must be redistributed for small and medium-sized farms and at lest 3% to young farmers. The new CAP also strengthens farmers’ position in the food supply chain. We revised the market and crisis management tools and set up a fully functioning €450 million crisis reserve to allow the Union to respond promptly when farmers face dire times.