A leaked copy of draft Commission proposals for the future of EU farm policy reveals that billions of euros in farm subsidies could continue to be dished out to EU countries with no accountability for how the money is spent.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) eats up 40% of the current EU budget and mounting evidence shows that the current direct payments system has been a failure for the environment, society and the economy.
Under the new proposals EU countries would receive yet more flexibility on how they meet the policy’s environmental objectives.
The EEB strongly criticises these proposals and repeats its call on Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger to ring-fence at least 50% of the EU farm budget for spending on the environment and climate when he publishes his proposal for the EU’s next 7-year budget next week on 2 May.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations with around 140 organisations in more than 30 countries.
While the draft policy includes a new ‘eco-scheme’ that would give farmers money for going the extra mile for the environment, there is not accountability to ensure how this money is spent in practice.
Bérénice Dupeux, EEB Policy Officer for Agriculture, said:
“Our current farming system is damaging our nature and climate. The clock is ticking until we reach our environmental tipping point yet the Commission dares to suggest a voluntary eco-scheme and to allow EU countries to drop the environment as a priority. Taxpayers can’t keep funding billion-euro farm budgets with no accountability. The only way to ensure that the new farm policy steers farming in Europe away from an environmentally-destructive model is to ring-fence off at least half of the next farm budget for environment and climate protection.”
The final CAP proposals will be published on 29 May and the new farm laws will come into effect across the bloc in 2020.