Last week’s discussion outcomes on the simplification of the CAP were considered by CEJA to be largely positive, but more must be done to define an active farmer.

The agreements reached by MEPs and Council negotiators on Thursday 12 October established a provisional deal for a simpler and fairer EU farming policy after 2018. These included boosting farmers’ bargaining power and making sure they are equipped to face risks.

“Our farmers will have better tools now to respond to market volatility and environmental risks and to strengthen their position in the food chain. This will make the EU’s farming policy fairer and simpler, better tailored to farmers’ needs and thus able to live up to consumers’ expectations,” MEP Paolo De Castro said.

CEJA welcomes the proposed changes to the Income Stabilisation Tool (IST), enabling aid to be activated according to sector when income losses reach 20% instead of 30%. Farmers’ losses will therefore be determined in terms of the type of production that was affected. They will receive compensation even if their other productions did not suffer.

CEJA also appreciates the possibility for young farmers to benefit from the young farmers’ top-up for the full five years regardless of when they apply for it over this period and to increase the top-up from 25% to 50% of the basic payment entitlement.

However, CEJA believes the definition of active farmer must be formulated at EU level and not by individual Member States. For CEJA, the current definition is inadequate and a stronger one is needed in order to better target supports. While the simplification of the CAP is a top priority for CEJA, it cannot come at the expense of an effective farm policy.

“The decision taken here can under no circumstances serve as a starting point for the discussion on the next CAP. A clear definition of active farmer in all Member States is imperative for the future of the CAP and EU agriculture in general,” said CEJA President Jannes Maes.

CEJA acknowledges the efforts of those involved in the negotiations to ensure young farmers are better provided for in the future CAP.

Read “Young Farmers are Key in the Future CAP” for further information on CEJA’s position on the future CAP.


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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