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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

Emerging agricultural policy frameworks in the UK

KALEY HART, ANNE MARéCHAL, 29 NOV 2018

While the CAP reform debate is in full swing, the UK countries have been consulting on the structure and content of their future agricultural policies as part of the transition away from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

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The status quo is not an option: the CAP’s environmental performance needs to improve

FAUSTINE BAS-DEFOSSEZ; KALEY HART, 30 NOV 2018

30 actions to transform the Commission’s proposals into a genuine transition tool.

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A healthy environment is fundamental to achieving vibrant rural areas

KALEY HART; FAUSTINE BAS-DEFOSSEZ, 20 SEP 2018

Just a few days before EU Agriculture Ministers meet for the informal Council in Vienna and on the basis of the preparatory questions sent by the presidency to the delegations, the authors of this blog post identify the key elements for securing vibrant rural areas in the future CAP.

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Why would this be the time to overturn the strategy for CAP reform?

DAVID BALDOCK, ALLAN BUCKWELL, 16 MAY 2018

Those of us with long memories of CAP reforms know that there can be many dramas, dead ends and diversions along the way. Nonetheless, there has been a discernible direction of travel for two decades or more.

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