TALLINN – Estonian Minister of Rural Affairs Tarmo Tamm said that Europe's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must become simpler and more effective.
"Over the years the Common Agricultural Policy has delivered food security to European citizens and provided a fairer income for our farmers. It has helped create jobs, preserve rural regions and communities, and encouraged a competitive agri-food sector. We now have the responsibility to make it even better after 2020: simpler, more effective, sustainable, modern and resilient," Tamm said at the last Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union in Brussels.
The agriculture ministers of the member states found that CAP has fulfilled its base goals well, which is why it is important to ensure the preservation of CAP's fundamental principles and sufficient funding of the policy from the EU budget.
IT was also emphasized that the agricultural policy must definitely not move towards renationalization and open CAP's first pillar for member states to co-finance, which would make reaching equal competition conditions difficult. A number of member states also emphasized the need for a greater equalization of direct funding.
The ministers also considered it important to ensure the competitiveness of agricultural producers, for which research and development activities and innovation should be more supported from joint funding, while digitization of agriculture should also be promoted.
It is also important to increase the readiness of agricultural producers for crises and involve effective risk management measures in the policy. In order to ensure that the agricultural sector is sustainable, a generation change must take place and more and more young people must be involved in the sector.