‘Environmental public goods in the new CAP: impact of greening proposals and possible alternatives’

A new report on the potential environmental and economic impacts of the proposed Pillar 1 greening measures has been written by Professor Alan Matthews for the European Parliament. The findings of this report were presented at the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on 19 March 2012.

Entitled ‘Environmental public goods in the new CAP: impact of greening proposals and possible alternatives’, it explores the potential opportunities and difficulties with the Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs), Crop Diversification, and Permanent Grassland proposals under four different approaches. These broadly characterise the types of alternatives being advanced by those engaging in the debate currently:

  • To weaken or remove the Commission’s greening proposals;
  • To support modified Commission proposals;
  • To provide more flexibility to Member States in Pillar 1 greening; and
  • To promote greening through more ambitious targeted Pillar 2 measures.

The report, as discussed in the presentation, emphasises that increasing spending for the agri-environment-climate measure under Pillar 2 and for cross-compliance under Pillar 1 would be an ‘attractive’ way to allow Member State flexibility while raising the standard for environmental land management at an EU scale. It acknowledges however, that the main downside of any approach taken solely under Pillar 2 would be that it would not guarantee such an EU wide scale uptake of environmental management.

Although the report expresses some doubt that the proposals for maintaining permanent pasture and crop diversification under the greening requirements would be effective, it is optimistic that EFAs could effectively deliver environmental benefits.

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18 Apr 2012