In a significant step in the design of the next CAP, the European Commission has made a list of recommendations for all 27 EU member states on what should be included in national strategic plans.

The plans will form the backbone of the next CAP, setting out the structure for farm payments and the various schemes in each country.

The Commission says its recommendations will assist member states drafting these plans ahead of the introduction of the next CAP in 2023.

Green deal

The recommendations are focused on ensuring countries contribute to the objectives set out in the EU’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies published as part of the green deal.

They are based on an analysis of the agricultural sector in each member state as well.

Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski encouraged member states to take the recommendations on board when drafting the plans to ensure the CAP was aligned to the green deal.

A shot in the dark

IFA president Tim Cullinan has branded the recommendations as “a shot in the dark”, as they are not backed up by an impact assessment.

“These recommendations will lead to reduced output, reduced productivity and increased costs,” he warned.

“Yet neither the EU nor the Government has done any kind of an impact assessment,” he said.

Cullinan called on the the Government to immediately instruct Teagasc to carry out a full analysis before any of these recommendations are implemented.

“We also need clarity as to what input the Minister and his Department had into these recommendations,” he said.

Farmer views

He stressed that the recommendations were not final and that there was still time to draft Ireland’s plan.

“Ultimately, the Department of Agriculture will have until the end of December 2021 to submit their plan to the Commission.

"They must take farmers' views on board and ensure that we all understand the full implications before any decisions are made,” he concluded.

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