The new legislative proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy 2021 - 2027 involve significant changes, including in relation to governance, the distribution of direct payments among farmers and the increasing environmental conditionality attaching to such payments. The new proposals must commit to a more significant environmental ambition than the current CAP schemes, including in pillar I.
The new proposals include a number of measures relating to distribution of payments, including an overall cap of €100,000, degressivity for payments above €60,000, a complementary redistributive income support, and the convergence of payments towards a minimum of 75% of the average payment per hectare nationally.
I have previously indicated that I am open to some level of capping. Under the current regulations, Ireland has already applied the maximum level of degressivity allowable for direct payments over €150,000.
My Department is carefully considering all aspects of these proposals to assess their potential impact on applicants. It is important that any such mechanisms are straightforward for Member States to administer so that they can be implemented without undue complexity for the farmer.
We are in the midst of intensive and challenging negotiations on these complex proposals. We still have some way to go before agreement - including agreement with the European Parliament as well as finalisation of the Multi-annual Financial Framework - is reached. I will continue to work with the Commission and other Member States to shape these proposals into an effective new CAP.