Today, Members of the European Parliament will debate the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the years 2023 to 2027 from 09:15 in the European Parliament, followed by a vote on the European Parliament's position, ahead of negotiations with the Council and Commission. The Greens/EFA group call for the European Commission to revisit its current CAP proposal to include the Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy.
Bas Eickhout MEP, Greens/EFA Vice President of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee in the European Parliament, comments:
"Climate change and ecological breakdown pose a severe threat to farming, our food system and our future on this planet and yet a large number of MEPs from are wilfully ignoring the enormous scale of the problem. Unfortunately, the EPP, Socialists and Renew groups want to water down the already weak proposals of the Commission by continuing with 60% of direct payments with very weak conditions.
"Without binding targets for more climate protection, less pesticides in the fields and less antibiotics in livestock farming, the CAP will stand as the very antithesis to the purpose of the Green Deal. Shorter supply chains, adequate payments and secure jobs and can make European agricultural policy a model for healthy, locally produced and sold food. This CAP reform will mean that EU countries are even prevented from spending more on ambitious measures to protect the climate, the environment and improve animal welfare.
"The few measures thrown in for the environment, climate and animal welfare are so weak that even the use of pesticides could pass as environmentally friendly. Species loss in arable land and fields is increasing, pesticides, antibiotics and synthetic fertilisers are polluting water supplies. Payments must be linked to strong and binding standards for climate protection, biodiversity, pesticide use and animal welfare. A parliamentary majority for a transformation in European agriculture is possible. We call on forward-thinking members of the S&D, EPP and Renew groups to vote in favour of our demands for a CAP that works for the benefit of farmers, the natural world and the climate. The Commission should revisit the CAP proposals to ensure that it includes both the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies so that it fits within the promise of the Green Deal."
Watch the plenary debate today (Tuesday 20 October) live from 09:15 here.
The Greens/EFA group are calling for the capping of payments and an end to tying subsidies to the size of agricultural land, support for small and medium-sized farms, linking subsidies to compliance with high and binding standards for climate protection, biodiversity, pesticide use and animal welfare, shortened supply chains and the promotion of local production.
The Greens/EFA group demand that the Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy be anchored in the Common Agricultural Policy with binding climate targets and the protection of biodiversity. In the farm-to-fork strategy, the Commission calls for the use of pesticides and antibiotics to be reduced by half. The biodiversity strategy stipulates that ten percent of land should be converted into high-diversity landscapes with buffer zones, hedges, fallow land, terraces and ponds.
The Greens/EFA group will hold their regular Plenary Press Briefing with Presidents Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts today at 10:30. You can follow the briefing live on EbS. Should you wish to ask a questions you can ask via Skype using the handle VoxBoxEP.