“Common Agricultural Policy after 2020 – Polish Priorities”
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
The government adopted a document entitled “Common Agricultural Policy after 2020 – Polish Priorities”.
The document presents the Polish view on the future of the EU agricultural policy after 2020.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the only fully Community EU policy, important not only for farmers and food producers, but also for whole population of rural areas and consumers.
Detailed proposals of future CAP for the years 2021-2028 are to be presented by the European Commission at the turn of 2017 and 2018, first in the communication, and then as drafts of legal acts. The new shape of the policy will be decided by the governments of the Member States (EU Council for Agriculture and Fisheries) and the European Parliament.
For Poland, it is essential that the EU agricultural policy after 2020 provides a level playing field on the single market. Support granted to farmers should be compliant with the Treaty principle of equal treatment of the European Union citizens and should not violate the principle of non-discrimination among producers within the EU. Various proposals of changes to the CAP will emerge during further work at the EU and, therefore, the paper presents the criteria to be followed by Poland in assessing the proposals. The Polish position will be updated at the further stages of the EU process.
Polish position on the EU Common Agricultural Policy after 2020
- The Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union also in the future should provide the EU society with high-quality food, support competitiveness of agriculture and ensure stable conditions for agricultural activity and sustainable development of rural areas.
- The CAP budget should reflect the high European added value of this policy and its public objectives. It should guarantee the full Community nature of the policy in financial terms.
- The future CAP should provide the level playing field on the EU single market. Therefore, Poland demands equalisation of direct payments among Member States.
- It is necessary to strengthen financing and maintain the existing criteria of distribution of support for rural development (the CAP’s second pillar), while providing greater involvement of other EU policies for rural development.
- The current Common Agricultural Policy solutions are a good basis for implementing its objectives also after 2020, although a number of detailed modifications and simplifications are required.
- It is necessary to maintain three existing CAP components: common organisation of agricultural markets, direct payments and support for rural development.
- Instruments of common organisation of agricultural markets should be used actively to prevent crisis situations in those markets more efficiently (currently they are not effective).
- Bargaining power of agricultural producers and processors in the food chain needs to be strengthened. The incentives to create producer groups and organisations as well as cooperatives should be increased to rise their market share.
- It is necessary to support alternative distribution channels, including short supply chains and local markets, which foster the development of organic and traditional production and strengthen the links between farmers and consumers.
- Solutions concerning the common organisation of agricultural markets should make better use of the already available instruments that determine the demand for Union agri-food products and healthy eating habits of consumers. The programmes promoting healthy nutrition that function within the CAP should be continued (e.g. “School Milk Programme”, “School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme”).
- The direct payment system should target the basic functions of agricultural policy and new Community challenges and become more simplified at the same time.
- It is necessary to retain the possibility for targeting support to small and medium farms.
- The possibility to use coupled direct payments in selected sectors should be maintained.
- The Single Area Payment Scheme (SAPS) has proven to be successful, so it should be possible to use it in the future in all EU countries. SAPS is a simplified direct payment system.
- It is necessary to pursue real simplifications of the direct payment system for farmers and administration.
- The second CAP pillar should remain an essential element of the system of integrated and complementary actions of many EU policies (including cohesion policy and the first CAP pillar), supporting rural development and other developmental, cohesion and environmental EU objectives.
- Increasing competitiveness and innovation of the widely defined agri-food sector should remain an essential element of rural development (the second CAP pillar). Within the second pillar, it is necessary to support the transfer of innovative solutions to the agricultural practice, making it possible to reconcile short- and long-term economic and public objectives, including those related to environment and climate protection.
- The second CAP pillar is an important tool for implementing the European objectives for the environmental protection and the prevention of climate change.
- Financial instruments should play a complementary role to grants.
- It is essential to simplify the implementation rules for the rural development programmes.
- It is necessary to coordinate the CAP and other EU policies (including those in the field of trade, environment, climate, energy, development, cohesion, competition, health), which increasingly affect agriculture and food production. At the same time, the implementation of ambitious objectives with regard to other EU policies will not be possible without the ambitious and fully common agricultural policy.
Proposals of the Polish priorities concerning the future shape of the CAP were formulated on the basis of previous experiences, analyses and assessments of the implementation of the this policy in Poland, studies of national and foreign scientific institutions, as well as conclusion from the on-going debate in the EU. The priorities proposed by Poland encompass the national strategic development objectives, as defined in the 2020 Responsible Development Strategy (with a perspective to 2040), in which “high-quality food” was identified as one of the 10 strategic sectors.