Council and EP strike provisional deal on the future of the CAP

The Portuguese presidency of the Council has reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform for 2023-2027.

The deal paves the way for a simpler, fairer and greener CAP that will provide a sustainable future for European farmers. The new CAP bolsters environmental measures and also includes provisions to ensure greater support for smaller farms and help young farmers enter the profession.

We are very pleased with the progress we’ve made in the last two days, which gives us confidence that we have the conditions in place to reach an agreement. However, the proposals must be approved by the member states and only then we can truly say whether we’ve reached a deal or not.

Maria do Céu Antunes, Portuguese Minister for Agriculture

The agreement is provisional pending approval by the EU’s agriculture ministers at the upcoming Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting, which will take place on 28-29 June.

The inter-institutional talks covered all three regulations that made up the CAP reform package and focused on some of the outstanding negotiation points, including:

  • the minimum budget for direct payments for eco-schemes and the establishment of a learning period for member states;
  • the mandatory minimum level of internal convergence for direct payments;
  • greater redistribution of direct payments;
  • the inclusion of a social dimension in the CAP;
  • the alignment of the CAP with the European Green Deal.

Following the introduction of a transitional arrangement at the end of 2020, the new CAP will take effect from 2023-2027.


The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) accounts for around a third of the EU’s budget. Its aim is to:

  • provide affordable, safe food for EU citizens
  • ensure a fair standard of living for farmers
  • preserve natural resources and respect the environment

On 1 June 2018, the European Commission presented three legislative proposals aimed at making the CAP fit for the future:

The main aspects of the proposals were:

  • more targeted direct payments and rural development interventions, both subject to strategic planning
  • a new ‘green’ architecture based on environmental conditions to be met by farmers and additional voluntary measures under both pillars
  • a performance-based approach (the ‘new delivery model’) whereby member states would have to report their achievements each year

In October 2020, under the German presidency, the Council agreed its negotiating position, or ‘general approach’, on the reform of the CAP. This included increasing the environmental ambition of the CAP, in line with the aims of the European Green Deal.

CAP transitional regulation (2021-2022)

In late 2020 the CAP transitional regulation was adopted, the aim of which was to ensure continuity of CAP legal and financial support to farmers and other beneficiaries before the new reformed rules came into effect in 2023. The regulation ensured that payments would not be interrupted, while also providing time for member states to prepare their national CAP strategic plans.