WWF on CAP Summit
Commenting on the Franco-German agreement last night to maintain the current agricultural subsidy system for a further 11 years, Tony Long Director of WWF European Policy Office said: "If the Council signs up to the agreement reached by France and Germany, it will make a mockery of any EU commitment to the environment and sustainable rural development."
Elizabeth Guttenstein WWF's Head of European Agriculture and Rural Development, commented "the agreement proposed will allow enlargement to go ahead, but at a terrible cost to the famers and landscapes of Eastern Europe."
Maintaining the current subsidy system for 11 years longer will lead the New Member States down the road of:
* agricultural intensification leading to the over-use of natural resources such as water, and of pesticides
* wide-spread abandonment of marginal agricultural land, and habitat loss in areas where biodiversity depends on extensive farming
* bankrupcy for the many Eastern European farmers, who are too small to benefit from subsidies or be economically viable without a strong rural development policy
Elizabeth Guttenstein added "Unlike the Franco-German deal, the Commission's Mid-Term Review proposals propose a much more sustainable way forward for the CAP in all Member States, old and new. Any decision reached in Council today must not compromise agreeing on the proposed Mid-Term Review."
Julian Scola, WWF European Policy Office, tel +32 2 743 8806, +32 486 117 394