Ireland made “some small steps” towards ensuring more fairness in the structure of the current CAP, but through changes which only meet the minimum EU farm payment requirements and that are being rolled out over the longest possible time period, according to a new report.
The report compiled by independent NGO, ARC2020, points to Ireland following the minimum allowable level of convergence in direct payments, and taking the longest allowable timeframe over which to implement it – 85% by 2027 – as evidence of this limited move to increase fairness.
The report authors also took aim at the financial impact that capping payments at €100,000 – along with a payment degressivity of 85% for payments between €60,000 and €100,000 – will have.
The report argues that this capping “threshold was set up so high for the average Irish farm size that the actual money shifted through this tool is ultimately minimal or symbolic”.
On the Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS), known as frontloading, it was noted that Ireland allocated the “bare minimum” to redistributing payments to smaller farms and making all farms eligible for the payment.
The report states that “nearly the same” number of farms over 30ha are eligible for the payment as there are farmers below the 30ha threshold for frontloading.
It points to the maximum entitlement value expected at the end of this CAP still being “considerably higher” than the expected average payment entitlement of €165/ha foreseen in 2026.
ARC2020 said its report comes at a “crucial time for the CAP debate”, with European Parliament elections set for 2024 and a “possible mid-term CAP reform taking place”.