The European Commission had approved the first package of strategic plans for seven countries of the EU for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The European Commission announced on Wednesday that it had approved the first package of strategic plans for seven countries of the European Union (EU) for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which includes €6.7 billion for Portugal.
“Today, the European Commission approved the first package of strategic plans for the CAP for seven countries: Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Spain,” the Community executive announced in a statement issued this Wednesday.
According to Brussels, “this is an important step towards the implementation of the new CAP on January 1, 2023.”
The ‘green light’ given today comes after Portugal’s ministry of agriculture submitted in mid-June to the European Commission the CAP Strategic Plan for the period 2023-2027, with a financial envelope of €6.7 billion, including income support, sector programs and rural development programs for the mainland and the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores.
The Portuguese plan includes around €6 billion from the EU budget through EU funds, while the rest is national co-financing.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels last July, the Portuguese minister in charge, Maria do Céu Antunes, said that Portugal’s strategic plan for the CAP was “in a position to be approved” by the European Commission, expecting endorsement in September.
“All the issues [raised by the European Commission] have been resolved, and today what was the Commissioner [for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski] said is that the Portuguese strategic programme for the CAP is in a position to be approved, and we hope that, during the first fortnight of September, this can happen”.
Overall, the CAP has funding of €270 billion for 2023-2027. The seven plans approved today represent over €120 billion, including more than €34 billion for environmental and climate objectives and greening schemes.
For the ‘green light’ announced today, the EU executive assessed whether each plan meets key CAP objectives in terms of common environmental, social and economic challenges, concluding that these seven countries’ documents “are in line with EU legislation and will contribute to the EU’s climate and environmental goals, including animal welfare.
Brussels notes that having approved these first seven CAP strategy plans, it is “fully committed to a swift approval of the remaining 21, taking into account the quality and timeliness of the reactions following the Commission’s comments”.
Furthermore, “in the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the continuous increase of commodity prices, the Commission has invited member states to explore all opportunities in their CAP strategy plans to strengthen the resilience of their agricultural sector to promote food security”, the EU executive adds, specifying that measures to reduce dependence on synthetic fertilisers, increase the production of renewable energy and promote sustainable production methods are involved.