Sunday

18th Feb 2018

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.

MEPs want Volkswagen EU loan fraud report published

The European Investment Bank has kept a report explaining how it was tricked into giving Volkswagen Group a €400m loan secret. MEPs want to make it public, plus a paper with recommendations on how to prevent future deceptions.

Pro-EU network teams up with VW for integrity event

European Movement International will host an event titled 'Integrity, transparency, and good corporate citizenship' in co-operation with Volkswagen Group, which carried out large-scale emissions fraud.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel: Nord Stream 2 pipeline poses 'no danger'
  2. Spanish king in Barcelona next week
  3. Turkey jails journalists for life
  4. Make budget cuts in farm and regional funds, the Dutch say
  5. UN: Hungary's anti-migration bill is 'assault on human rights'
  6. Journalist Deniz Yucel freed in Turkey
  7. New organic farming bill not ready until late spring
  8. Commissioner: Western Balkans in EU is 'obvious'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  2. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  3. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  4. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  6. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  7. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  8. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  9. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  10. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”
  11. European Heart NetworkSmart CAP is Triple Win for Economy, Environment and Health
  12. European Free AlllianceEFA Joined the Protest in Aiacciu to Solicit a Dialogue After the Elections

Latest News

  1. EU asks charities to explain anti-abuse measures
  2. ECB, Budget, EU elections This WEEK
  3. EU states stay mute on implementation of mercury bill
  4. Baltic states demand bigger EU budget
  5. Germany raises concerns over Hungary's 'Stop Soros' bills
  6. EU ties Brexit transition talks to divorce agreement
  7. EU divided over Western Balkan enlargement
  8. Facebook and Twitter weak on protecting users, says EU