ZAGREB, September 17, 2018 – The Baby Beef association believes that the European Union’s new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the 2021-2027 period could ruin Croatia’s cattle breeding industry, and has called on the government and the Agriculture Ministry to take a firm negotiating position against the proposed cuts in grants.
“This new CAP will be the death of the already devastated cattle farming” in Croatia, the association said in a statement on Monday, signed by its president, Darko Celovec.
He noted that Croatia was the last to join the EU and had drawn the least funding, while other countries had used the funds absorbed over several programme periods to increase their competitiveness on the market. “Now that we have started to use grants, they want to reduce them, and we have only just begun to recover,” Celovec said.
According to the statement, the EU’s financial framework for the next seven year period proposes a 5 percent cut in CAP funding. Although there has been no official confirmation of this, under the new proposal Croatia could end up with four percent less money for funding direct payments and as much as 15 percent less for rural development measures.
The direct payments envelop for Croatia would be reduced from the present 382.6 million euro to 367.7 million euro, while funding for rural development would be cut from the present 332.16 euro to 281.3 million euro.
The Baby Beef association said it supports all Croatian institutions which in recent days have sent out a clear message that the European Commission should take account of the fact that Croatia is included among economically underdeveloped areas and that the proposed reduction of the direct payments and rural development envelopes would have a direct impact on diminishing the competitiveness of its agricultural production.