Today, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development adopted its main report on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The proposals fail to address the current climate crisis and serves to perpetuate an unsustainable agricultural model that is destructive for the planet and leads to the disappearance of hundreds of farms every day, while favouring the growth of large-scale industrial production. The next Parliament will be charged with concluding the reform process.
Martin Häusling, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the file, comments:
"Today’s vote is a step backwards and a devastating blow to farmers, consumers and the environment. The majority of MEPs in the Agriculture committee are stuck to the environmentally destructive methods of the past, preferring to plough on with intensive, agrochemical-dependent agriculture over the needs of famers and delicate ecosystems. The CAP must be reformed to prevent devastating biodiversity loss, climate change and ensure environmental protection, while at the same time ensuring a decent income for farmers and quality food for 500 million EU citizens.
"This policy fails small farmers, with much of the CAP funds to be directed at larger farms and inequalities for farmers in Central and Eastern Europe. It stands in stark contrast to the millions of citizens mobilising every week, all across Europe, to demand climate action.
"The CAP must be the driving force behind the ecological transition, in line with the Paris Agreement, and we will fight in the next Parliament to make this a reality. We need a fairer distribution of public money, limiting direct payments to €50,000, and for vital investment into vibrant communities and a living countryside, through rural development funding.”
The plenary vote on the mandate for the negotiations with the Council and the European Commission ("trialogue") on the Common Agricultural Policy will take place in the new legislature. The European Commission proposes €365 billion for the CAP budget between 2021 and 2027, equivalent to 28.5% of the total budget of the European Union. €265.2 billion alone are planned as direct payments, only €78.8 billion are to be invested in rural development. At present, 20% of CAP beneficiaries accumulate 80% of payments.