One of the characteristics of this reform of the Common Agricultural Policy is that it demanded the agreement of three different European institutions: the Commision, the Parliament and the Council. This negotiation process was called "trilogue" and called for intense lobbying work in all institutions to improve the support given to agroforestry in the new CAP.
EURAF contributed to elaborating two series of amendments (1, 2) for the Plenary Session at the European Parliament in March 2013. The main objective was to include a clear definition of agroforestry systems in the regulations and to make agroforestry an eligible type of land for Pillar I payments. We were successful in excluding the adjective "extensive" that characterised the type of agriculture linked to agroforestry in previous drafts of the regulations.
Also in March 2013, EURAF published a Position Paper on the draft Council conclusions, demandind that agroforestry systems should be one of the options of Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) and demanding improvements in the agroforestry measure foreseen in Pillar II (Article 23-24 of the EAFRD). As a result, some agroforestry systems will be considered EFA and the aids for maintainance of newly established agroforestry systems were extended from three to five years.
A specific Position Paper for the trilogue was disseminated in April 2013. This paper insisted in the aforementioned ideas, suggested 100% funding the establishment costs of agroforestry systems through Pillar II, and proposed admitting up to 250 trees per hectare for permanent crops to be designed as EFA.
A third Position Paper was produced in May 2013, focussed on the implementing rules of the agroforestry measure in Pillar II. Suggested improvements were related to augmenting the eligible costs, increasing tree density up to 250 trees (DBH > 10cm) per hectare, and offering a wider variety of tree species to plant. As a result, the final version of the Article leaves it to Member States to decide on the maximum tree density admitted in newly established agroforestry systems.