Assembly meets to consider EU CAP networking priorities

Generational renewal in farming, environment and climate action, knowledge exchange and innovation, as well as ‘doing more with less’ via integrated territorial approaches, were all among the networking topics considered important by the Assembly during its members’ 2nd meeting earlier in December.

A comprehensive agenda for the Assembly opened with DG AGRI’s Deputy Director General Mihail Dumitru presenting an updated state of play after one year of CAP Strategic Plans (CSPs) implementation. He highlighted the CSPs’ ongoing emphasis on farm income support and climate action as well as legislative initiatives on the nature restoration or sustainable use of pesticides. Complementarity and synergy with the Rural Pact were noted and expected to be reinforced by the strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture. The latter can position CSPs at the forefront of the EU’s ongoing transition towards sustainable agri-food systems.

Opportunities for National Networks (NNs) to be closely involved with this transition and with the Rural Pact were also noted during a report to the Assembly from the EU CAP Network’s Steering Group. It underlined advantages from CSP networking covering the full breadth of the CAP and confirmed the Steering Group’s proposed priorities for networking across all three CAP general objectives, aiming for complementary CSP interventions that are simple to use.

Rules of procedure for the Assembly were adopted and its members received news about progress with the EU CAP Network’s Annual Work Programme. This was followed by presentations from Assembly members raising awareness about a range of interesting NN activities in Finland and Sweden as well as information from ELARD about LEADER. An interactive session then drew on the Assembly’s collective expertise to share ongoing or planned initiatives for the following four themes:

  • Green architecture, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the EU Green Deal, including related smart strategies and approaches;
  • Knowledge exchange and innovation;
  • Generational renewal in farming and the broader rural economy (young rural entrepreneurs), including approaches to facilitate access to land for young farmers;
  • Integrated territorial approaches and ‘doing more with less’ to address rural needs related to social fabric in rural areas with a limited set of CSP interventions and budget (including tools for designing, implementing and monitoring strategies/policies for disadvantaged territories (remote rural areas, mountainous areas, etc.)).

Specific linkages between Assembly members and opportunities for simplification were identified in relation to these themes as well as possibilities for further networking and cooperation. Outcomes highlighted topics and tools for CAP networking such as AKIS platforms, financial instruments, eco-scheme training, ‘good news’ publicity, farmer occupational safety and wellbeing , leadership training, multi-funded CLLD, cooperation support schemes and digitalisation, among others.

A highlights report from the Assembly is being prepared for publication in early 2024 and you can find out more from the webpage of the 2nd meeting of EU CAP Network Assembly.