Plenary vote on CAP reform package: a bitter sweet victory for the environment

19 MAR 2013

On 13 March, the European Parliament plenary agreed their negotiating mandate on the CAP reform proposals. Whilst largely in keeping with the amendments passed by COMAGRI earlier in the year, a few key decisions were overturned with positive implications for the environment.

Read in full

A greener EU budget in the balance: the 2014-2020 MFF deal

12 MAR 2013

The unprecedented cuts in the EU’s future spending plans, agreed by Heads of State and Government in early February, have been much in the spotlight. But what are the implications for the policies which shape the longer term sustainability of European society?

Read in full

Mixed news for the EU’s environment from today’s MFF deal

28 FEB 2013

‘There is mixed news for the EU’s environment and the green economy from today’s MFF deal’ says David Baldock, Director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).

Read in full

Bee health discussed in a workshop in the European Parliament

28 FEB 2013

Following the European Commission proposal for a two year ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, the European Parliament held a workshop on 26th February 2013 to assess current information on the status of bee health in the EU. A large body of evidence has been accumulated on the causes of bee mortality in recent years, both in the EU and worldwide. The evidence points to multiple interacting factors, including habitat loss, the quality of the bee diet, disease, bee-keeper practices, farming practices and climate, as well as the use of pesticides.

Read in full

LEAF guidance for ‘Simply Sustainable Water’

12 FEB 2013

LEAF has produced a short guidance document outlining six simple steps for producers on the sustainable management of water. Although the guidance targets UK producers, the six steps are also relevant to producers beyond the UK.

Read in full

Two year ban on neonicotinoid pesticides proposed to protect bees

11 FEB 2013

A two year ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on crops attractive to honeybees, proposed by the Commission in January, has prompted a strong response from the agricultural, agro-chemical and seed industries. The ban would affect the sale and use of seeds treated by plant protection products containing imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothiniadin.

Read in full

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.

Read in full

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.

Read in full

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.

Read in full


Out of the box thinking on the CAP


RISE Foundation project outlines new thinking on the further modernisation of the CAP

Read in full

Rural Development back on the agenda at Cork


David Baldock sets out his view on the Cork 2 conference which he and others at IEEP attended and about what this might mean for the future of rural development policy.

Read in full

Climate mitigation in agriculture is necessary, achievable and can benefit the sector in the process


The agriculture sector has great potential to reduce its GHG emissions in a cost-effective way, with limited or no production impacts, as well as gain efficiency and deliver environmental benefits in the process. However, to play and enhanced role in delivering the EU’s climate objectives requires commitment from both Member States and the agricultural sector.

Read in full