Speaking in Brussels, commissioner for agriculture and rural development Phil Hogan announced the start of a new phase of reforms and modernisation for the CAP.
This will begin with a three month public consultation period to determine the interests and opinions of all parts of the sector in order to create new, workable reform goals for the post-2020 period.
“Today we are taking the next steps towards modernising and simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy for the 21st Century. By launching this public consultation, we are asking all stakeholders and those interested in the future of food and farming in Europe to participate in shaping a policy for all the people of Europe. This public consultation feeds directly into the roadmap for the future common agricultural policy announced by President Juncker in December.
“The common agricultural policy is already delivering major benefits for every European citizen, in terms of food security, the vitality of rural areas, the rural environment and the contribution to the climate change challenge”, said Hogan.
The consultation process will be conducted through existing institutional channels such as the civil dialogue group, a collection of organisations like FoodDrinkEurope (FDE) – a trade group representing the entire European food and drink industry.
"We welcome Commissioner Hogan’s announcement today to hold a public consultation with all stakeholders and we look forward to contributing", said the FDE in a statement.
An online public survey has also been launched to determine the opinions of consumers and citizens who are not directly involved in the industry.
Readers can access the survey here.
The European Commission announced the need for a new wave of reforms to the existing CAP, which was previously amended in 2013, on the basis of ‘two sets of unforeseen circumstances’.
Firstly, the commission acknowledged that all parties were left dissatisfied with the complexity and outcomes of the last wave of reforms, which were finalised in 2013.
Second, events in the wider social environment have rendered many of the reforms either obsolete or counterproductive. Economic instability, including a drop in agricultural prices and an increase in geopolitical tensions have ‘inhibited long term planning of the sector’.
New commitments made by the EU to the Paris climate change agreement and the UN’s sustainable development goals have also created new considerations to be factored into the policies.
The ways in which these emerging challenges are affecting the European food industry will directly play into the new CAP. The results of the consultation will be announced in July of this year at a conference.