The LEADER programme, which my Department administers, is also through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is the Department with lead responsibility for negotiations on the CAP reform process.
Proposals for new regulations for the CAP 2021-27 were launched in June 2018 by the European Commission. However, given the nature of the discussions on the CAP and the wider EU Budget post-2020, there has been a delay in adopting these proposals.
As a result, the European Commission has recently published proposals for transitional measures to allow for continuity between programming periods of 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 for CAP payments. The draft proposals provide for an additional, transitional year before starting the new CAP, which would require Member States to submit their draft CAP Strategic Plans to the Commission for approval by 1 January 2021. The proposals will be discussed by Member States over the coming months.
My officials have engaged extensively with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on the European Commission’s proposals for CAP 2021-2027, and are now working with that Department on the proposals for the transitional arrangements insofar as they impact on the LEADER Programme. This engagement will continue for the duration of the CAP reform process.