Ministers’ farm fantasy risks decreasing CAP legitimacy further

Ahead of a meeting of EU farm ministers on 19 March, the EEB has criticised them for putting together draft conclusions that are based entirely on factually untrue statements about the environment.

The EEB is Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organizations with around 140 organisations in more than 30 countries.

The leaked document – which has yet to be signed off [1] – makes no mention of the environmental crisis on Europe’s farmland but makes the unfounded claim that the CAP is already delivering on the environment and climate protection – flying in the face of a recent evaluation which found that the CAP direct payments system is failing the environment, society and the economy.

Faustine Bas-Defossez, EEB Policy Manager for Agriculture and Bioenergy, said:

It seems that EU farm ministers have been flexing their fiction writing skills, as this document is based on pure fantasy. It denies all the clear evidence that our current farm system is failing farmers, the environment, and society at large. The only way to continue justification for pouring such huge amounts of public money into EU farm policy is if this money is spent on subsidising farm methods that work in harmony with the environment – not against it. There is no place for business as usual.

While the EEB rejects the document as a whole, it does welcomes a reference made to the role of the European Commission in the future governance model of the policy in ensuring a level playing field across EU member states.

Bas Defossez added:

Accountability is key to ensure that EU countries are actually working to meet the objectives of farm policy. The European Commission should play a vital role in ensuring public money is spent in pursuit of sustainably producing healthy and safe food at national level and that national plans are robustly aiming at that.”

Notes to editors:

[1] To be discussed at the Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) meeting on Monday 12 March and then adopted in the Agriculture Council meeting on 19 March.

For more information:

Faustine Bas-Defossez, EEB Policy Manager for Agriculture and Bioenergy

+32 (0) 2 790 88 14