CEJA, the European Council of Young Farmers, despite welcoming the CAP simplification exercise, has described the decision to give flexibility to Member States when determining criteria for receiving young farmer payments as “misguided”.
Although CEJA welcomes the CAP simplification exercise, it reiterates that it should not be forgotten that the first priority of the exercise should be that of simplifying the lives of farmers – not administrations. The decision to give Member States the flexibility in determining whether partnerships between young farmers and others are able to access these funds is particularly concerning as it is likely to create an uneven playing field among young farmers in the EU. This is despite the fact that this was the very reason the Young Farmer payment scheme was made “mandatory” in the regulation – so that every single Member State would have to implement it to the benefit of their young farmer population.
The decision to give flexibility to national administrations in this respect endangers the 2% of the budget supposedly dedicated to young farmers, risking the fact that in some Member States many young farmers – those in partnerships – may not benefit at all from the scheme. CEJA is the first to support the notion that young farmers should receive support to start their own farm as early as possible – but this is simply not an option for all, and the reality of farming today must be taken into account.
CEJA therefore expresses its concern that the important mandatory support element for young farmers that many stakeholders and decision-makers worked so hard to secure in the regulation has been put at risk. With this in mind, CEJA strongly calls on Member States to ensure that the funds available to them for young farmers are maximised in order to secure many more transitions from partnerships to sole holdings by young farmers and to promote enhanced generational renewal in the sector – one of the main objectives of the current policy.
CEJA represents the political interests of around two million young farmers from across Europe. Its main objectives are to facilitate the installation of young farmers, to inform and to train them as well as act as a forum for communication and dialogue between them.
Download the press release here: CEJA Concern at Simplification of YF Scheme
For further information:
Jessica Fitch, Communications Officer, Tel: +32 (0)2 230 4210