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Poland: First assessment of the EC proposal on the CAP after 2020
Photo. Undersecretary of State R. Zarudzki during the AGRIFISH
The Polish delegation was headed by Undersecretary of State, Ryszard Zarudzki.
Poland is of the opinion that the CAP should remain an important policy of the EU, taking into account both new international needs, challenges and obligations, but also that the objectives of the CAP set out in the Treaty remain valid and their fulfilment is an important task of this policy. The future CAP, operating in the conditions of an increasingly open EU market and performing new public functions, requires strong financing from the EU budget – the achievement of many ambitious goals indicated in the communication is fully dependent on budgetary decisions.
The Undersecretary of State stressed that an adequate CAP budget and the equalisation of direct payments are necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the single market for agricultural products in the EU. EU farmers fulfil the same requirements for the provision of public goods. The assumed strengthening of the environmental and climate dimension of the CAP requires, first of all, a definitive departure from the differences in the level of support reflecting the intensity of production from a dozen or so years ago. The equalisation of direct payments cannot be postponed. Poland does not support the idea of co-financing direct payments. Such a step would be a threat to the functioning of the single market, the principles of equal competition and the community nature of this policy in the future. Other states also supported the equalisation of direct payments (Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia).
In the opinion of Poland, the omission of the maintenance of safety net instruments for agricultural markets in the Communication is also alarming. Both direct payments and the instruments of the common organisation of agricultural markets should continue to be fundamental to stabilising the incomes of European farmers. Strengthening risk management is needed, however, it should be complementary to the basic instruments stabilising agricultural markets, which have been used so far.
The largest number of questions and doubts of the ministers are raised by the new CAP model proposed by the European Commission consisting, among others, in giving much greater responsibility to the Member States for the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy. The delegations mostly emphasised the need to strengthen the CAP's environmental ambitions, innovation and knowledge transfer, facilitate generational renewal, support small and medium-sized farms, and simplify agricultural policy rules.
Moreover, at the request of the Czech delegation, the results of the high-level conference on African swine fever, which took place on 8 and 9 November this year in Prague, were discussed. Many Member States took part in the discussion on the ASF elimination measures proposed by the Danish delegation, including Denmark, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Romania, France, the Netherlands, Hungary and Spain. Denmark called for a strategy to combat the disease and manage populations of wild boars through development and application of new tools and data. The EC stressed that the fact that the human factor is more and more often involved in the spread of the disease is disturbing. The EC appealed to the Member States to submit specific demands, so that additional actions could be taken, and expressed its openness to consider them, at the same time encouraging to get acquainted with the documents, guidelines and strategies developed so far.
From January 2018, the Agricultural Council will be chaired by Bulgaria, which has announced intense work on the future Common Agricultural Policy.
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