On 18 September 2013, CEJA (European young farmers) President Matteo Bartolini addressed a high-level conference in Budapest, Hungary on the subject of “The New CAP – Evaluation and Impacts Expected by CEJA”, on the invitation of the Hungarian Minister for Rural Development, Dr Sandor Fazekas. Hailing the political agreement on CAP reform as a success for young farmers and the promotion of generational renewal in the EU’s farming population, Mr Bartolini was nonetheless cautious about the potential impact of these measures depending on Member States’ differing calculation methods and Rural Development Programmes.
The CEJA President’s intervention followed presentations by Jerzy Plewa, the Director General of the European Commission’s DG Agriculture and Rural Development, MEP Paolo De Castro, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development, and a welcome speech by the Hungarian Minister for Rural Development, Dr Fazekas. Mr Bartolini seized the opportunity of his speech to thank the Hungarian Minister for his support for CEJA and strong young farmers’ measures throughout the political negotiations on CAP reform, and hoped for a strong calculation method for the young farmer top-up in Hungary, considering how vocal the Minister was on this point before the political agreement was found on 26 June 2013.
However, although Mr Bartolini was optimistic about the implementation of CAP measures to support Hungarian young farmers, he was more cautious about other Member States, particularly those who did not support the mandatory nature of the young farmer top-up in the Council’s mandate during negotiations. On this point, the CEJA President was very clear on the importance implicated in maximising funds for young farmers, stating that: “All EU decision-makers, and many stakeholders, have acknowledged the need for strong support for young farmers in the last three years of CAP negotiations. We must ensure that these arguments are not lost, but reinforce the implementation of these measures. The Common installation policy framework now available in the CAP must succeed at achieving the objectives it was meant for: reversing the damaging demographic trend in EU agriculture and increasing the numbers of young people entering the sector and/or staying afloat in it.”