General Approach on CAP agreed by Ministers: Trialogue discussions now underway

09 APR 2013

After lengthy deliberations, on 19 March, the Agriculture Council agreed its negotiating mandate on the CAP reform package of legislative texts. This agreement, which significantly watered down green elements, provides the Council with their mandate to enter into trialogue discussions with the European Parliament and the Commission.

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Sealing the deal on a greener CAP?

03 APR 2013

The European Environmental Bureau is organising a timely conference entitled 'Sealing the Deal on a Greener CAP?' on Wednesday 10 April to exchange views on the latest developments in the Parliament and Council.

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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.

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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?

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Caring for the planet starts from the ground


If caring for the planet starts from the ground, then caring for the planet starts with farmers and foresters and all others who manage and use Europe’s soils.

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Out of the box thinking on the CAP


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

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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.

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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.

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