© Seppo Leinonen

It's crunch time for the EU's agricultural policy!

 

With the political agreement on reforming the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) now reached, EU farm ministers are finalising the drafts of their national strategic plans, in which they set out how they’ll implement the CAP until 2027. This flagship policy receives around 1/3 of the entire EU budget. The largest portion of this goes into direct payments to farms, very often allocated merely based on the size of the farm with few environmental conditions. 

The CAP has the potential to change the fate of biodiversity and climate in the EU, but so far it has utterly failed to reduce GHG emissions and has plundered natural habitats, along with drying and polluting our freshwater bodies[1][2][3]. The CAP must get on the right side of history and be aligned with the EU Green Deal to truly transform our food and farming systems. The European Commission must stand up for its Green Deal and take very strong decisive action when reviewing the national strategic plans!

© Seppo Leinonen

The path to nature-friendly farming

 

WWF is urgently calling on the European Union to make the CAP compatible with the European Green Deal, with a focus on these four cross-cutting priorities: 

  1. Conditionality: a set of do-no-harm requirements attached to EU farm subsidies. These agri-environmental conditions must not be watered down in any way.

  2. Eco-schemes: one of the very few novel instruments in the future CAP, a substantial share of funds should be allocated to eco-schemes and ensure these incentives do not end up as a low-ambition flat-rate payment for all farmers. 

  3. Targets: part of the revamped performance framework, it must be a requirement for Member States to establish targets for the key CAP impact indicators and to collect all the data necessary for their calculation.

  4. Ring-fencing: central to ensuring joint efforts towards common objectives, CAP funds should be robustly earmarked for biodiversity, climate and environmental objectives, and all greenwashing scrapped.