Takaisin Time to start discussion of the future common agricultural policy (CAP) 


Time to start discussion of the future common agricultural policy (CAP) 


The MTK directors met with the DG agri director, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle in Helsinki. In an in-depth and constructive discussion about the needs for change was discussed in order to secure sustainable agriculture throughout the EU from the perspective of a Finnish farmers. Ms. Geslain-Lanéelle is Head of Strategy and Policy Analysis Unit in the Commission's department of agriculture and rural development and plays a key role in the preparation of the future CAP. 

On the left, MTK chairman Juha Marttila and director of agriculture Johan Åberg. On the right, MTK executive director Jyrki Wallin and DG agri director, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle.
On the left, MTK chairman Juha Marttila and director of agriculture Johan Åberg. On the right, MTK executive director Jyrki Wallin and DG agri director, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle.

Finland’s CAP strategic plan was approved last year and has been implemented mostly successfully. Unfortunately, the geopolitical situation has changed dramatically since the European Commission released the legislative proposal, and the Finnish authorities did most of the national preparational work. There has also been a significant change in the national political atmosphere in Finland with rising EU criticism and nationalism. These changes in the political framework have changed the focus on food security and the need to bring food and the farmers back to the center of the Common Agricultural Policy.  

Agriculture in Finland is currently facing challenging times, in a situation with high production costs, decreasing prices and a poor harvest. The Green Deal, combined with exceptional inflation, has not been supportive enough for farmers. We have also been faced with delayed support payments. This is problematic, especially for young farmers and farmers that have invested. However, the farmers in Finland are living up to the expectations concerning the environment, climate actions, biodiversity and animal welfare, and the strategic targets will be fulfilled. 

Because of the changed situation both in markets and in politics, we would like to stress the importance of member states being able to make needed changes and updates to national strategic plans flexibly. The current procedure needs to be faster and less bureaucratic in a rapidly changing world with growing uncertainty both in geopolitics and markets. In Finland, we know what it is like living close to Russia, and that policy must adapt to this. 

Food security is today a question that needs to be addressed in a very different way than a few years ago. When we in Finland talk about food security it is not a question on derogation on some details in the CAP. Food security for us, is a question of strategic autonomy and a cornerstone of comprehensive security policy. Food security means that farmers are able to ensure that all citizens can have the best food in the world every day of the year for a reasonable price. It means healthy environment, healthy animals and plants, healthy people (One Health). It means farmers offering solutions to climate, environment and biodiversity challenges and farmers creating growth and jobs in all areas and it means local food production - the base of food culture and a living countryside. 

President of the Commission von der Leyen's demand to reduce SME reporting by 25 percent is also important in agriculture and forestry. The recent responsibility legislation primarily focused on large companies, but the entire supply chain, including agriculture and forestry, is covered by the new reporting obligations. Future agricultural policy must create synergies, so that new sustainability reporting, criteria for green claims etc. and external auditing can be connected to each other. 

Concerning the preparations for the new Common Agricultural Policy post-2027 we would like to highlight the need to focus on food security as a public good. In our internal preparations for the next programming period, we have identified five policy areas that needs to be addressed.  

  1. Farmers need a strong, simple policy with a substantial budget that promotes smart farming against Climate Change and Biodiversity loss.  

  1. We need to improve strategic self-sufficiency and secure the availability of production means, in the whole of the EU, at all times.  

  1. More efforts should be made to improve farmers’ position in the food chain.  

  1. Improving young entrepreneurs’ situation and profitability and image of Food Production.  

  1. And finally, we need EU policy coherence in agriculture, forestry and rural entrepreneurship.  

To achieve this, we need greater ambition concerning sustainable transition, considering local conditions. Food production must be in the center of CAP and acknowledged that The Treaty of Rome is still accurate. Forerunners must be awarded, not punished, for the work already done. There is also a greater need for unbiased and fair implementation in all Member States.  

Juha Marttila


+35820 413 2340

+35850 341 3167

Jyrki Wallin

Secretary General

+35820 413 2307

+35850 522 5207

Johan Åberg

Director, Agriculture

+358 20 413 2415

+358 40 523 3864

Juha Ruippo

Director, trade and development policy

+358 20 413 2341

+358 40 55 33 232

topics: cap, agricultural policy