Tuesday

12th Dec 2017

EU farm proposals will 'make mockery' of green targets

A Danish EU presidency report on reforming the EU's farm subsidy policy - the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) - has caused uproar in a leading pro-green NGO.

The Danish report, out on Monday (18 June), reveals that intense discussions are under way among member states on European Commission ideas for enticing farmers to introduce environmentally friendly farming techniques.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Each EU citizen pays around €105 per year to CAP, of which €80 goes directly to farmers (Photo: Notat)

Rural development and pro-environment farming was to have been given more priority in the EU's €55 billion a year farm subsidy policy.

The commission wanted to link 30 percent of the EU's €55 billion farming hand-outs to pro-environment farming practices, such as crop diversification and retention of permanent grasslands and ecological focus areas.

Most member states agree in principle with "greening" the CAP, but are pushing for flexibility to let individual countries tailor the changes to their needs.

They also say it would involve too much red tape to introduce the principle on a top-down EU-level model.

For its part, pro-green NGO the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), says the flexibility amounts to loopholes that will let EU countries "pick and choose" reforms in line with their own interests instead of for the good of the environment.

"What started out as an optimistic and measured proposal by the commission in October has now ended up becoming a Frankenstein policy, which addresses neither the environmental challenges we are facing nor providing adequately for our long-term food needs," WWF's Europe director Tony Long said.

He noted that some member states want to reduce by half the 30 percent farm subsidy tied to pro-environment farming.

"The proposed rules on the negotiating table ... [will] make a mockery of trying to reach [the] desired outcomes."

Scientists say agriculture produces some nine percent of the EU's green house gas emissions and 75 percent of its nitrous oxide emissions, which pollutes ground water.

CAP is set to cost the EU €380 billion over 2014 to 2020 - each EU citizen pays around €105 a year to for the scheme, of which €80 goes directly to farmers.

The Danish progress report notes that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed" on CAP refoms.

"I am convinced that green transition and growth are two sides of the same coin," Mette Gjerskov, Denmark's minister for food, agriculture and fisheries, said.

EU will formally renew glyphosate on 12 December

The European Commission will also reply to a million-strong citizens' petition to ban glyphosate, and clarify EU rules concerning scientific studies on which the herbicide's renewal was based.

News in Brief

  1. EU to Israel: Don't expect us to move embassies
  2. EU Commission condemns anti-semitic 'Jerusalem' protests
  3. Ministers have 'lots of questions' on new CAP plans
  4. Commission: Brexit agreement is 'deal between gentlemen'
  5. 25 EU states sign defence cooperation pact
  6. Netanyahu wants 'hardy' talks with EU on Jerusalem
  7. French centre-right elects new leader
  8. Germany and UK increase arms sales

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage

Latest News

  1. Alignment with EU is 'last resort', May tells MPs
  2. Iceland: further from EU membership than ever
  3. Israel presses Jerusalem claim in EU capital
  4. From dark coal toward a brighter future
  5. UK casts doubt on EU deal in 'bizarre' twist
  6. Romania wants EU signal on Schengen membership
  7. Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants
  8. No chance of expanding EU warrant crime list