The European Commission approves the CAP strategic plans for Austria and Luxembourg

The European Commission approves the CAP strategic plans for Austria and Luxembourg

Today, the European Commission approved the CAP strategic plans for Austria and Luxembourg. This is the second round of approvals of the CAP strategic plans after the approval, on August 31, of plans for Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), due to come into force on January 1, 2023, is designed to ensure the transition to a sustainable, resilient and modern European agricultural sector. Under the reformed policy, funds will be distributed more equitably to small and medium-sized family farms, as well as to young farmers. In addition, farmers will be supported to adopt new innovations, from precision farming to agro-ecological production methods. By supporting concrete actions in these and other areas, the new CAP can be the cornerstone of food security and farming communities in the European Union.

The new CAP incorporates a more effective and efficient way of working. EU countries will implement national CAP strategic plans, combining funding for income support, rural development and market measures. When developing its CAP strategic plan, each Member State chose from a wide range of interventions at EU level, adapting and targeting them to meet its specific needs and local conditions. The Commission assessed whether each plan addresses the ten key objectives of the CAP, which address common environmental, social and economic challenges. The plans will therefore be in line with EU law and should contribute to EU climate and environmental objectives, including animal welfare, as set out in the Commission’s “De la farm to table” and “Biodiversity”.

The CAP will benefit from funding of 270 billion euros for the period 2023-2027. The two plans approved today represent a budget of more than 6.2 billion euros, including 2.1 billion devoted to environmental and climate objectives and eco-schemes. Austria’s eco-schemes focus for example on soil and water protection, as well as improving animal welfare, while Luxembourg will support non-productive areas and strips and grant subsidies to farmers that limit their use of pesticides.

Both countries will also strongly support organic farming practices. CAP funding in Luxembourg will help increase the area devoted to organic farming to 20% by 2025. Austria already has one of the highest shares of organic production in the EU. With the help of the CAP, this share will be further increased to reach 30% of agricultural land.

One of the key objectives of both countries in their CAP strategic plans is a fairer distribution of income support. Austria will focus on more effective and efficient targeting of direct payments, while Luxembourg will focus on ensuring a fairer income for agricultural producers. Austria will pay particular attention to small farms and mountain farms and will devote more than 60% of the rural development budget to environmental objectives.

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