January 2013

Disappointing outcome for the environment from COMAGRI CAP Reform vote

29 JAN 2013

The results of last week’s vote (23-24 Jan) in the European Parliament’s Committee on Agricultural and Rural Development was disappointing for the environment, with the proposals for greening Pillar 1 significantly weakened, double funding permitted, coupled support increased and extended to a wider set of agricultural sectors and cross compliance weakened and reduced in scope. On the positive side MEPs voted to increase the proportion of Pillar 1 funds that could be transferred to Pillar 2 (rural development) to 15 per cent, although worryingly this was balanced by an increase in the proportion of funds that can be transferred in the opposite direction (up to 10 per cent). They also propose that Member States should be required to spend 25 per cent of their rural development budget on environmental measures. The amendments have been met with a mixed response, with political parties split in their views. Environmental NGOs have reacted with anger at the environmentally backward direction of travel, while farming organisations have welcomed the increased flexibility. It is hoped that some of the decisions taken can be reversed at the plenary session in March.

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EP vote must not undermine a greener CAP

22 JAN 2013

A decade’s progress in improving the Common Agricultural Policy’s environmental credentials risks being lost if the EP vote to water down the Commission’s ambitious proposals to green the CAP.

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CAP reform under the new Irish Presidency

18 JAN 2013

The Irish EU Presidency commenced on 1 January 2013 with an agenda that focusses on stability, growth and jobs. Delays to the CAP reform proposals under the Cypriot Presidency mean that the pressure is now on the Irish Presidency to secure a CAP agreement before the end of June. A tentative timeframe for the CAP reform and other relevant areas of policy is discussed here.

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Land Stewardship in England post 2013: CAP greening and agri-environment

18 JAN 2013

What will the introduction of environmental measures in Pillar 1 mean for agri-environment schemes in the future? A topic of much debate as part of the CAP reform negotiations, this new report explores the potential impacts of greening Pillar 1 on England’s entry-level agri-environment scheme and how a future scheme could be designed to deliver more for the environment and ensure the long term sustainability of farming.

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