The CAP 2023-2027 enters into force, affecting 650,000 Spanish farmers

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The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that will govern the countryside between 2023 and 2027 comes into force this Sunday, January 1, with profound changes affecting more than 650,000 farmers and ranchers in Spain, the third beneficiary country, with an allocation of more than 47,000 million euros.

The European Union (EU) applies since Sunday what is considered the most ambitious agrarian reform in its history from the environmental point of view, and the second most profound in terms of transformations in the management of funds that come from the community coffers.

The new CAP comes after a year of unprecedented transition due to the energy and food crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine and in a context of inflation, especially in the shopping basket.

Among the novelties, the increase in environmental objectives when distributing funds for aid and a design in which governments will have more responsibility because each country decides how to implement this policy through a national strategic plan.

In Spain some 658,000 people work in agriculture and livestock, according to the latest data from the National Institute of Statistics for the third quarter, while the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) figures in 630,000 producers who will be able to collect aid.

Thanks to the CAP, Spain will receive 47,724 million euros between 2023 and 2027, making it the third most benefited country, behind France and Germany; according to MAPA, farmers will receive 7,150 million euros per year.

For Spain, subsidies account for 20% of agricultural income.

The CAP has two pillars, the first of direct support and market measures, and the second, dedicated to rural development, with programmes co-financed by the Member States to promote activities other than or complementary to agriculture in the field.

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The Spanish amount for the field exceeds 50,000 million euros if this co-financing is counted.


The reform introduces “eco-schemes”, which means that 25% of aid will be for a set of environmentally beneficial practices.

It implements national strategic plans, for which governments will have greater responsibility.

Environmental practices include crop rotation and set-aside obligations, now discontinued, as part of the special measures approved by the EU in reaction to the Russian invasion and supply constraints.

The new CAP includes a redistributive payment for agricultural SMEs in order to make subsidies fairer.

It establishes the social conditionality of the aid, that is to say that voluntarily in 2023 and mandatory in 2025, it will be linked to respect for labour rights; Spain will apply it in 2024.

This policy also includes the Posei program for the Canary Islands and the program of fruit or milk consumption in schools.


The Spanish plan states that there will be 4,800 million for direct aid, 700 million for market measures and 1,700 million for rural development, plus 700 million for sectors in difficulty -extensive livestock, beet, rice or raisins-.

Aid for young people increases, includes a premium of 15% for women who enter the activity and interventions for 612 million, with programs for fruit and vegetables, wine, beekeeping and, for the first time, extensive olive groves.

The national law that regulates the management of the new CAP has already been approved and is complemented by 18 decrees, of which eight were published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) in the last week of 2022; Two rules are still pending, but they do not condition the possibility of starting to implement the plan.

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The entry into force of the CAP alters the calendar for the processing of aid, according to the Spanish Agricultural Guarantee Fund (FEGA).

These are the most outstanding dates:

-March 1 to May 31. Deadline for submission of the single application of 2023 for aid. This year is lagging behind a usual exercise.

-June 15. The deadline for submitting modifications to the application ends.

-August 31. Deadline for farmers who have received notification of incidents to submit modifications.

-October 16-November 30. The autonomous communities that decide to do so may pay advances of the 2023 aid.

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