The European People’s Party (EPP) is the first European political party that outlined its vision for the future of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. As European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan presented a Communication on the Future of Food and Farming today, the EPP President, Joseph Daul, welcomes the document as it reflects critical points defended by EPP:

“The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is at the heart of European integration and must continue to be. We support a fair, result-driven CAP, respecting subsidiarity and local conditions while adhering to common EU rules. EPP strongly supports maintaining the two-pillar structure and we welcome that the Communication by Commissioner Hogan is aligned with our position. We expect that there will be no co-financing of the direct payments and any attempts at renationalisation of the CAP will be avoided.”

European farmers play an essential role in our society and we all benefit from their work: high quality food, bringing jobs and growths in rural areas, delivering on environmental and climate objectives, just to name a few of the rendered services. The Common Agricultural Policy must be designed to help farmers face globalisation, climate change and food security.

The first action we can take to ease the lives of the farmers is to simplify the CAP. We must let the farmers do their jobs: produce our food and not be stuck in bureaucracies. We hope that the new delivery model will achieve this simplification and better address the local needs while guaranteeing the common nature of agricultural policy and a level playing field in the EU single market.

Farmers face many risks ranging from natural disasters to market volatility. We hope that today’s Communication will pave the way for an improved system to buffer the risks and economic losses of farmers. We are looking forward to Commissioner’s Hogan proposals to increase market transparency and to strengthen the farmers’ position in the food supply chain. European farmers must also have a stronger position to defend the EU’s agricultural sector in the world. We also consider that further work should be done on crisis management by revising the functioning of the crisis reserve to make it a workable and efficient independent financial instrument placed outside of the budgetary principle of annuality.

The future of the European agricultural sector is made of its people and its land. Digitalisation of farming can help attract young people to the sector, make it more environmentally sustainable and ultimately revive rural areas. CAP is not a mere policy, it is about feeding the next generations and protecting our planet.”