On 31st March the European Commission services sent observation Letters on 19 proposed CAP National Strategic Plans (Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden), identifying elements that require further explanation, completion or adjustments before the Commission can approve them.

Together with the letters, the Commission issued an overview summarizing the key elements of the first 19 proposed plans and the related observations which are made for each country. The report explains that the letters are organised in two parts:

  1. key issues relating to the entirety of a Plan – its strategic focus, contributions to the CAP’s general objectives and assessment in relation to the specific EU targets set in the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, and
  2. detailed observations according to the CAP’s ten specific objectives, the instruments and other elements of the proposed Plan.

Both the report and, in recent declarations, Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski, underlined that the situation in Ukraine has changed the general context in which the Plans were initially proposed. For this reason, the National Strategic Plans may have to be reviewed, and Member States are encouraged to step up the ambition to transition to more sustainable agriculture, to ensure the EU food system delivers food security and is more resilient to external shocks.

CEMA believes that the Member States’ National Strategic Plans must leverage the new “eco-schemes” to support the uptake of technologies enhancing sustainable farming practices all over Europe.

The 8 remaining plans are still under assessment.