EU budget Summit discards a true reform and focuses on obsolete vested interests

Posted on February, 08 2013

(Brussels, 8th February) WWF is angered by the final outcome of the two day European Council Summit on the EU Budget which ended today. 

(Brussels, 8th February) WWF is angered by the final outcome of the two day European Council Summit on the EU Budget which ended today. The agreement which will cover 2014-2020 period has little to offer except a cut in spending across some of the most important budget lines for the environment such as the Rural Development Fund in CAP, the LIFE programme or international development funds.

WWF is outraged by the outcome on CAP which will continue the highly controversial and damaging Direct Payments system, which continues to reward farming interests that destroy the environment and provide little long-term social benefit.
While a commitment has been made to ensure 20% of the budget will go to climate change mitigation, there is no detail on how this aspirational measure will be implemented. 
Quote: Tony Long, Director of the WWF European Policy Office
EU leaders sacrifice the environment, sustainable farming or overseas aid..
“Heads of States and governments have failed to show any true leadership and have behaved more like “bean counters” squabbling over narrow national interests at the expense of common European priorities.”
“Instead of tackling issues that matter to the European public like the creation of green jobs, sustainable farming, environment or overseas aid, they have agreed on a backward looking budget.”
Agriculture: Council supports a budget from the past
“WWF is shocked to see that Member States have protected the discredited CAP direct payments from the bulk of cuts. Leaders have played into the hands of the European Parliament Agriculture and Rural Development committee and conservative agrifoods lobby who are seeking a no strings attached budget that would allow them to keep throwing money at intensive farming and agri-food business that are harming the environment. The proposed ‘greening’ of direct payments is so far a shameful smokescreen. It will certainly backfire on the reputation of the EU budget as a whole, undermining the European project.”

Source of the article

For further information:
PHILIPPE CARR, Media and Communications| WWF European Policy Office, Tel: +32 2 7400 925, Mob:+32 476 256 879 
The Council of the European Union
© WWF / The Council of the European Union