Rural Affairs Secretary sets out thinking.
Further simplification and reducing the administrative burden on farmers should be at the heart of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform.
Responding to the European Commission’s consultation on regulations to govern post-2020 CAP, Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing set out his thinking on the future of CAP, including calls for:
- More freedom to tailor rules to local circumstances
- More proportionate penalty provisions
- Treating future new entrants fairly and reversing the historical disadvantage suffered in the past
- More realistic and proportionate approach to the degree of mapping accuracy required, taking into account local circumstances and the genuine risk to public money.
Mr Ewing said:
“Current CAP rules are too prescriptive and do not allow enough tailoring for local circumstances. Our proposals seek to correct this by enabling CAP to match local needs, removing the risk of farmers suffering heavy penalties for minor non-compliance, while also reducing current excessive administrative burdens and ensuring external convergence monies are passed to the right sub-Member State area.
“The next two years are hugely important in determining what kind of country Scotland will be. We are clear that powers over agriculture policy and funding should be returned to Scotland and we are committed to continued constructive engagement during the negotiations to help shape the future of CAP to ensure the future policy successfully delivers on its objectives to benefit the EU and Scotland.”