CAP REFORM: The EU should support a sustainable future for farming, rural territories and biodiversity
The new Common Agricultural Policy beyond 2020 is being discussed in the European Parliament and the Socialists and Democrats Group want to use this opportunity to build a sustainable future for farmers, rural territories and consumers alike. This is an opportunity to support those who are really working for the well-being of all, instead of benefiting profit-oriented large businesses.
Today the S&D members in the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy committee backed new rules on support for strategic plans to be drawn up by member states in the upcoming reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The goal is to promote genuine farmers who make commitments to observe, maintain and promote, on eligible hectares, agricultural practices and systems beneficial for the climate, biodiversity and human health.
These new measures will be financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
S&D spokesperson on this file, Susanne Melior MEP, said:
“We succeeded in introducing for the first time a financial earmarking for environmental and climate objectives in the first pillar of the common agricultural policy. This is a strong signal: at least 30 percent of direct payments must in future be reserved for eco-schemes.
“The new CAP must deliver greater ambition for the environment and climate or we risk undermining the long-term viability of our agricultural and forest systems. EU payments should reward farmers who preserve the air, soil, water, climate and wildlife we all depend on. We managed to ensure that the environmental priorities identified are sufficiently ambitious and that member states are held accountable so that the new CAP really delivers its fair share towards the Paris UN Climate objectives.”
S&D spokesperson on health and the environment, Miriam Dalli MEP, said:
“The agricultural sector is a key sector in the fight against climate change, but also in the broader fight against air, water and soil pollution, and against detrimental effects on human and animal health.
“Farming practices play a critical role with regard to biodiversity. At the same time, agricultural activity is key for rural areas in economic and social terms. Farmers must have access to decent work and living conditions, and to fair prices for their products.
“These concerns should be at the core of the new CAP. This policy should be designed in such a way as to address long term and intertwined challenges facilitating the transition of the agricultural sector towards a net-zero greenhouse gas economy rather than simply being used to fix the system for the seven years to come.”