Today, the European Commission approved the CAP Strategic Plan of Cyprus and Italy. The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), set to start on 1 January 2023, is designed to shape the transition to a sustainable, resilient and modern European agricultural sector. Under the reformed policy, funding will be more fairly distributed among farms, with an emphasis on small- and medium-sized farms, as well as young farmers. Moreover, farmers will be supported to take up innovation, from precision farming to agro-ecological production methods. By supporting concrete actions in these and other areas, the new CAP can be the cornerstone for food security and farming communities in the European Union.
The new CAP incorporates a more efficient and effective way of working. EU countries will implement national CAP Strategic Plans, combining funding for income support, rural development and sectorial programmes. In designing its CAP Strategic Plan, each Member State chose from a wide range of interventions at EU level, tailoring and targeting them to address their specific needs and local conditions. The Commission has been assessing whether each Plan is aimed towards the ten key CAP objectives, which touch upon shared environmental, social and economic challenges. The Plans need to be in line with EU legislation and should also contribute to the EU's climate and environmental goals, as set out in the Commission's Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.
The CAP will benefit from €270 billion of EU funding for the 2023-27 period.The two Plans approved today represent a total EU budget of over €26.9 billion, with €373 million for Cyprus and €26.61 billion for Italy. Out of the total EU budget of these two countries, €7.4 billion will be dedicated to environmental and climate objectives and eco-schemes and almost €680 million to young farmers.
The Cypriot CAP Plan wants to sustain the resilience and competitiveness of the agricultural sector. Around €155 million will be allocated to support farmers’ income. To support the production of halloumi cheese, the main Cypriot agricultural export and a registered Protected Designation of Origin, the Cypriot Plans will particularly support the sheep and goats farming sector. In terms of environmental and climate action, water management and soil preservation have been identified as the main challenges to address. Cyprus will invest in irrigation and encourage farmers to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices. The agricultural land farmed organically will also double. To reduce rural unemployment, Cypriot young farmers will receive specific additional aid. Rural development funds will also support local businesses which, among other projects, is expected to lead to the creation of more than 900 jobs.
Italy is one of the largest agricultural producers and food processors in the EU with a very diverse agricultural sector. Italy’s Plan will introduce a maximum amount per hectare on the basic income support to farmers. Small and medium-sized farms will receive a redistributive payment to achieve a fairer financial support. About 800 000 farmers will also receive specific funding (from a total envelope of almost €3 billion) to participate in risk management tools so they better cope with the growing impact of adverse climate events. As part of its environmental commitments, Italy’s Plan aims to increase the area under organic farming to 25% of the agricultural land. The Plan will foster local development strategies reaching 56% of the rural population through local action groups. Italy will also be among the first EU countries to implement the new social conditionality of the CAP to ensure safety at work and combat labour exploitation. Finally, €1.1 billion will be dedicated to helping young farmers set up and secure their business.
More information on each Plan as well as the breakdown of their CAP budget is available in the “at a glance” documents.
The European Commission presented its proposal for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform in 2018, introducing a new way of working to modernise the EU's policy on agriculture. Following extensive negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission, an agreement was reached and the new CAP was formally adopted on 2 December 2021.
The deadline set by co-legislators for Member States to submit their CAP Strategic Plan was 1 January 2022. After receiving the Plans, the Commission sent observation letters to all of the Member States by 25 May 2022. They were published on the Europa website together with the reactions of all Member States, in line with the transparency principle. A structured dialogue between the Commission services and national authorities resumed thereafter to solve remaining issues and finalise the revised CAP Plans.
Cyprus and Italy submitted their first CAP Strategic Plan proposals on 30 and 31 December 2021 respectively, after consultations with stakeholders. They then sent their reviewed proposals, addressing the Commission’s observations, on 16 November for Cyprus and 15 November for Italy.
To be approved, each Plan must be complete and compatible with the legislation, and ambitious enough to deliver on the CAP objectives and EU environmental and climate commitments.
“At a glance”: insights into the CAP Strategic Plans of Cyprus and Italy
- 2 detsember 2022
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