Young farmers from across the EU gathered in Warsaw last week at the CTR 2017 agricultural fair to discuss the European Commission’s communication on the future CAP released on 29 November. “Generational renewal must become a priority in the new policy framework” said CEJA President Jannes Maes.
CEJA acknowledges some of the positive steps put forward and the work carried out by the Commission in its intended reforms of the CAP. However, CEJA believes that a more concrete vision for the future of the agricultural sector has to be included in discussions. CEJA looks forward and is willing to work with the Commission to assist with this.
While CEJA acknowledges an EU of regions, it calls for there to be a level playing field among Member States to ensure young farmers across the EU receive the same opportunities. In particular, CEJA believes that young farmer schemes and generational renewal measures need to be mandatory and set out at EU level while encouraging Member States to fully support young farmers through national policies such as taxation.
CEJA welcomes the mentioning of a succession model to facilitate generational renewal and access to land. The reference to “those who are actively farming in order to earn a living” is also a good starting point but a more ambitious and strong definition of active farmer must exist for supports to be better targeted.
CEJA calls for a modernisation of decoupled payment system with the aim that direct payments should not only be linked to land. CEJA therefore appreciates the move towards better risk management tools, but greater efforts must be made to define and implement these.
CEJA shares the Commission’s assessment that current greening measures are not working successfully and often create a disproportionate burden for farmers. CEJA proposes that a range of environmental measures be installed that are financially attractive and accessible only to active farmers.
CEJA is happy with the vocal support for generational renewal expressed when the document was presented but reiterates that the focus of this objective must be exclusively on young farmers and dealt with across the entire CAP. CEJA acknowledges the efforts of the Commission and requests EU institutions and stakeholders stand alongside it in a calling for a stronger budget that is able to meet these ambitions.
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.
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