CoR and EESC adopt their opinions on the CAP reform proposals

23 MAY 2012

In their respective plenary sessions on 25 April and 4 May, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) adopted their formal opinions on the proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy reforms. The opinions of these two EU institutions are a mandatory part of the CAP reform legislative procedure and the European Parliament and Council are obliged to take them into account when they agree the legislation and implementation of the reformed CAP.

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European Parliament: The CAP should be a key tool for biodiversity conservation in the EU

24 APR 2012

A resolution on the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, adopted on 20 April by the European Parliament stresses that biodiversity should become a much higher political priority and should be better integrated into existing EU policies. In particular, it states that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should be a key tool for the conservation of biodiversity, alongside its role in food production and rural development. The forthcoming reform of the CAP, in conjunction with decisions on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, are key to halting the loss of biodiversity.

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‘Environmental public goods in the new CAP: impact of greening proposals and possible alternatives’

18 APR 2012

A new report on the potential environmental and economic impacts of the proposed Pillar 1 greening measures has been written by Professor Alan Matthews for the European Parliament. The findings of this report were presented at the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on 19 March 2012.

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The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment

17 APR 2012

The UK government produced its first Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) earlier this year. It looks at 100 priority impacts of climate change across 11 sectors in the UK including the agriculture and forestry sectors. The assessment categorises these sectors within five themes showing where the impacts will be most severe and how policy can intervene. Climate change is likely to have considerable impacts on food security, population growth and rising demand for energy. The purpose of the CCRA is to analyse the potential impacts in this wider context in order to facilitate risk management in the respective sectors.

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Support a Sustainable Future for Europe’s Pastoral Landscapes

EFNCP, 02 APR 2012

The European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (EFNCP) have issued a document presenting the fears and proposals of 80 farming and environmental organisations concerning the current CAP rules for permanent pastures, and those being considered for 2014-2020 period. It sets out clear and simple proposals for changing these rules for the benefit of farmers and the environment.

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Delivering Environmental Benefits through Ecological Focus Areas

09 MAR 2012

On Tuesday 6 March stakeholders involved in the CAP reform debate, researchers, representatives from the Commission, European Parliament, Member States, NGOs and farmer organisations, came together to engage in a constructive debate on how to get the most for the environment out of the Ecological Focus Area (EFA) measure under the CAP proposals for the greening of direct payments. The event, held in Brussels, was hosted by Scottish Natural Heritage on behalf of the UK statutory conservation, countryside and environment agencies and organised by IEEP.

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CAP Reform Towards 2020: Franco-Spanish Talks

21 FEB 2012

Compared to the two years of active debates and discussions which preceded the publication of the legislative proposals for CAP reform post 2014, we seem now to be in a quieter period of reflection. This is partly caused by the suggestion that the real negotiations cannot progress in detail until there is greater clarity about the budget the CAP has to work with. In turn this is dependent on political decision on the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework, and no one expects progress on that until well after the French Presidential elections (second round on 6 May) and maybe not settled until spring 2013.

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France and Germany Unite Forces in the CAP Reform Discussions

15 FEB 2012

French and German Agriculture Ministers, Bruno Le Maire and Ilse Aigner, met on 6 February at the 14th Franco-German Council of Ministers to discuss the Commission’s proposals for the future CAP. The outcome is a two-page declaration highlighting those areas of the policy reform on which they hold a common view.

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The Debate at UK Level on Innovation in EU Agriculture Continues

15 FEB 2012

The UK government published their response on 2 February 2012 to the findings published by the UK House of Lords Select Committee inquiry into innovation in EU agriculture last July.

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


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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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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