By Elisa Plumed
Thanks to this virtual viewpoint that is called streaming I was able to follow the first day of the Conference on the post 2020 CAP organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment. Although an on-line assistance from home can not be compared to an off-line on-site, I think I have the necessary notes to make a chronic summary of what has been seen and heard on the screen.
Minister Isabel García Tejerina, who was a brilliant host at the inauguration (much more smiling than last week at the presentation of the 9th Masters of Wine Congress) was curiously absent for the rest of the day.
She has been followed by Clara Aguilera, currently Vice-President of the Committee on Agriculture in the European Parliament, who has not stopped expressing her ambitions for Europe and for the CAP 2020. And as a corollary of the opening, Commissioner Hogan has stated “after these two formidable women, I have little to say … “, words with which he has wanted to be polite, although I do not know if he has succeeded.
Apart from that, several issues that I consider important for the future of the CAP have been put on the table. Firstly, according to the Deputy Director General of DG Agri of the European Commission, María Ángeles Benítez Salas, the open debate “is not a reform, but a revision. It is part of a reform process and there are elements that will last “. So things, we can not expect great scares like the one of the 2003 revision with Franz Fischler at the front.
Secondly, according to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development at the press conference with the media, the budget of the CAP will be much lower, since Brexit is going to result in a loss of 3.6 billion euros less.
Curiously, the word multifunctionality is already outdated in the agricultural and is not mined, and according to the representatives of the neighboring governments of France and Portugal who have participated in the debate, what is expected is that the agricultural sector of the future is resilient !! [It is said of the adaptability of a living being to a disturbing agent or an adverse state or situation].
The resilience, put in fashion during the economic crisis of the 21st century, reaches the field. Has it not been resilient enough to adapt to six CAP reforms and the globalization of markets?
For his part, the Dutch representative of Agriculture and Nature has surprised the audience by demanding that the CAP advocates not only for greater market orientation or more sustainable agriculture, but also to offer a better diet to Europeans with foods with less salt , healthier and leave a smaller environmental footprint. Is it because if Europe does not promote its agriculture we will end up eating cheap and unsafe food from elsewhere in the world?
In the sessions corresponding to the participation of the Autonomous Communities, some Agricultural Counselors have been surprised by their criticisms of the CAP and their desire to reform it more deeply, as is the case of Aragon, Castilla La Mancha or Comunidad Valenciana. The same surprise that have caused the few proposals of other representatives, such as that of Andalusia, whose territory is one of the most funds received.
Eliminate historical rights as a condition to receive the aid; Establishing a third pillar of the CAP for market and anti-crisis measures; Include green payment as a condition of basic payment; To gain recognition of Europe towards the pastures; Convert direct aid into non-surface income support; Greater simplification and less bureaucratization; Encourage the active farmer;
All these proposals demonstrate that those who apply the Common Agricultural Policy in the territory, the councilors, have ideas to reform the CAP and have much to say because, after all, they are the ones who take it to the territory.
Hopefully the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment will listen to you and take part of your requests in Brussels.
Perhaps getting a good PAC is as simple as applying the Second Leader philosophy in the First Pillar, that is, listening well to the bottom so that you can make good policies from above