EU leaders weaken greening and rural development funding in CAP budget agreement
Heads of State and governments agreed on the EU financial framework 2014-2020 on 8 February. As part of this agreement, EU leaders weakened the criteria for CAP Pillar 1 greening and significantly cut the Pillar 2 rural development fund from 98.14bn to 84.94bn euro (-13.4%) based on the current EU budget 2007-2013, while a number of member states will receive additional once-off lump-sum payments from the overall Pillar 2 fund. The bulk of CAP payments will remain direct payments under Pillar 1, which will be reduced from 304.83bn to 277.85bn euro (-8.8%). Member States would have greater flexibility to shift up to 15% of Pillar 2 funds to Pillar 1 and member states with direct payments 90% below the EU average would be allowed to move a further 10% of their Pillar 2 funding to Pillar 1. At the same time, there will be greater choice for member states to determine the equivalent measures for Pillar 1 greening.
IFOAM EU strongly disapproves of any disproportionate cuts to the Pillar 2 fund or weakening of Pillar 1 greening and calls on EU leaders to deliver a greener and fairer future for European farmers and communities. The final agreement on the overall EU Budget still requires approval from the European Parliament which is expected put it to vote in April or May.