At the Agri-Fish Council on 18 November 2019, the Commission presented two proposals for CAP transitional rules to bridge the period between the current CAP programming period (2014-2020) and the CAP post-2020 (2021-2027). Such transitional measures are normal practice between consecutive programming periods, where a gap arises due to any delays in finalising the CAP regulations or a new EU Budget.
The first and most urgent regulation is the financial flexibility regulation, which allows the continued transfer of funds between pillars I and II in the year 2020. This is expected to be adopted shortly.
The second, more substantial, regulation is quite technical and legally complex as it amends seven existing EU Regulations (including the CAP Regulations) to provide for a one-year transitional period in 2021, with EU funding for 2021 as set out in the Commission Proposals for the MFF 2021-2027.
Specifically, it provides options for Member States to extend their entire 2014-2020 Rural Development Programmes for a period of one year to 31 December 2021, to extend for the same period only existing multi-annual commitments in the RDP (agri-environment/climate, organic farming and animal welfare), and to introduce new agri-environment/climate, organic farming and animal welfare commitments in 2021 for a period of one to 3 years. The proposal also makes amendments to the Direct Payments regulation to provide legal certainty in the transitional period. Discussions on this second regulation will continue in 2020.
I welcome the Commission's proposed transitional regulations, and the flexibility provided within them to allow continuity between the programming periods, as well as the certainty that would be provided for Member States and beneficiaries. I am continuing to work with the Commission and my European Ministerial colleagues to reach agreement on these important legislative proposals and provide certainty to Irish farmers at the earliest possible date.