woman digging up new crop of potatoes on own small garden
CAP needs root-and-branch change
As the Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) conference kicks off in Brussels today, 115 leading environmental, health, and social NGOs (1) are calling on European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his team to initiate an in-depth review of food production and consumption in Europe (2).
Faustine Bas-Defossez, European Environmental Bureau (EEB) Senior Policy Officer for Agriculture and Bioenergy, said:
“It is time for Juncker to give Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan the mandate to open the debate on whether the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is fit-for-purpose. Given that 53 billion euros (3) is pumped into Europe’s farming system every year, it is only fair that taxpayers are allowed to see if they are getting a good return for their money. The European Commission has already put much of the EU’s environmental legislation through the mill, and it seems only right that the same level of scrutiny is applied to EU farm policies.
“Policymakers continue to claim that EU farming policies are greener and fairer than ever. But science shows that this is not the case (4).
“We need a food and farming policy that gives EU citizens access to healthy soils, water, air and, obviously, food. Farmers should be rewarded for such work, not for ploughing massive amounts of toxic chemicals into our land which are detrimental to their health, that of consumers and our nature.”
Today’s letter follows on from a letter sent earlier this month to Director-General Plewa on the Commission’s public consultation on CAP greening. The consultation was very limited in scope and full of leading questions which made it incredibly difficult for us to accurately represent our concerns in our responses. Read the EEB’s submission to the consultation.
(3) 53 billion euros represents 37% of the total EU budget.
Recent research shows that much of the money earmarked for environmental protection is having little real impact:
> Under the CAP 17. 2 billion euros are earmarked every year for measures which are supposed to protect the environment but the reality is that much of this money has little actual impact on environmental protection.
(Source: Analysis carried out by the European Enviromental Bureau (EEB) & BirdLife)
> Attempts to make the policy greener at the 2013 reform are set to fail. (Source: IEEP)