(04 June 2018) – The European Commission unveiled on Friday (1 June) its plans for the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy, triggering a strong reaction from EU farmers and the environmental community for cutting the budget, giving member states too much leeway and fudging environmental and climate issues.
Farm Europe, a think-tank specialised in farming issues, said the farmers’ income would be reduced by 16 to 20% and this would eventually result in a massive exodus from the rural areas.
Environmental NGOs strongly criticised the Commission’s proposals on tackling climate change, stating that increasing member states’ decision-making powers would kill environmental goals. “The reform pins all its hopes to achieve EU objectives on wishful thinking, assuming that the member states will pursue public over vested interests. The last 20 years of CAP implementation suggests that when given the option, agricultural ministers tend to cave into the powerful intensive farming lobby,” BirdLife Europe said.
In the meantime, the agriculture ministers of Spain, France, Ireland and Portugal, and the representatives of Finland and Greece signed a joint declaration about the next CAP in Madrid on Thursday. “The representatives of the six member states deeply regret that the Commission is considering a reduction of the CAP budget in its proposal for the period 2021-2027. They underline the negative impact of this reduction on farmers’ incomes, if approved, and therefore call for the CAP budget to be maintained,” France’s agriculture ministry said in a statement. (EurActiv)