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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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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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Featured

Principles for a future CAP for the EU-27 outlined at the agricultural ministers meeting in Chambord

ANNE MARéCHAL, 20 SEP 2016

As governments from all EU Member States but the UK gathered on Friday 16 September in Bratislava to discuss the future of the European Union, a similar agriculture-focused gathering was held in Chambord, France, on 2 September 2016.

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Rural Development back on the agenda at Cork

DAVID BALDOCK, 13 SEP 2016

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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Member State choices on Pillar 1 implementation revealed

KALEY HART, 13 FEB 2015

Details of Member State decisions on aspects of Pillar 1 implementation are now available on the website of DG Agriculture and Rural Development. The information provided is a summary of the notifications provided by Member States to the Commission and represents the state of play as at 23 January 2015. It covers the basic payment (or Single Area Payment); the greening measures; the redistributive payment; support in areas with natural constraints; and coupled support. In addition the decisions made by Member States on transferring funding between Pillars are outlined.

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