MEPs throw a lifeline to greening in an otherwise feeble CAP vote

Posted on 13 March 2013

(Strasbourg, 13th March 2013) The European Parliament has voted on the Common Agricultural Policy reform 2014-2020 that will form the basis of its negotiations with the Council over the coming months.  Encouragingly the Parliament blocked some of the worst proposals that the EU Parliament Committee Agriculture and Rural Development had tried to push through and even opted for a more positive line on greening. However it failed to support the strong reforms needed to introduce robust environmental protection in CAP and protect nature in rural areas.
 
The original proposal by the European Commission in 2011 was intended to establish a principle of rewarding farmers for the maintenance of good farming standards, to address the crisis nature is facing and also bolster public legitimacy. While today’s position of the Parliament largely lacks the teeth to make it happen, it is a more realistic approach to the reform than the European Parliament Agriculture committee supported.
 
(Strasbourg, 13th March 2013) The European Parliament has voted on the Common Agricultural Policy reform 2014-2020 that will form the basis of its negotiations with the Council over the coming months.  Encouragingly the Parliament blocked some of the worst proposals that the EU Parliament Committee Agriculture and Rural Development had tried to push through and even opted for a more positive line on greening. However it failed to support the strong reforms needed to introduce robust environmental protection in CAP and protect nature in rural areas.
 
The original proposal by the European Commission in 2011 was intended to establish a principle of rewarding farmers for the maintenance of good farming standards, to address the crisis nature is facing and also bolster public legitimacy. While today’s position of the Parliament largely lacks the teeth to make it happen, it is a more realistic approach to the reform than the European Parliament Agriculture committee supported.
 
 
Speaking after the vote Andrea Kohl, Programme Director of the WWF European Policy Office said:
 
Overall reaction
“While it’s good that the Parliament’s plenary has blocked the worst aspects of its Agriculture Committee’s proposal, this vote is still very disappointing for us. The Parliament did not integrate basic water legislation nor did it give support to strong greening measures which ensure that farmers are rewarded for undertaking good environmental farm practices.”
 
Overall the result of the CAP remains unchanged. The plenary voted against illegal double subsidies and the retention of the existing requirements on the environment and public health that had been proposed by the Agriculture Committee. However the same farmers are still likely to receive the same farm subsidies for the same farming practices that continue to store up the same problems for the natural environment.” 
 
Parliament rejects Agriculture Committee greening proposals
 
“We were relieved to see the hard-line anti-greening proposals by the Parliament Agriculture Committee were rejected in plenary. MEPs voted in favour of a mandatory greening for all farmers if they wish to receive their greening payment, but the content of the measures (Ecological Focus Areas, crop diversification, permanents grasslands) is so weak that it is unlikely to lead to any improvements.”
 
 
Contact: Philippe Carr, WWF European Policy Office,
Media & Communications, 
WWF European Policy Office,
Tel: +32 476 25 68 79
E-mail: pcarr@wwf.eu
 
 
About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
 
Sheep and the sturmflut
Sheep and the sturmflut
© Timm Christman / WWF-Germany