The CAP remains one of the biggest funding pots in the EU, with almost 40% of the EU budget going to the budget lines of direct payments and rural development under the heading “Sustainable growth: natural resources”. Despite subsequent rounds of reform the CAP remains a very problematic policy that does not meet its targets and with large parts of the money attached to it just wasted. The majority of CAP payments come in the form of income support that is not delivering the public goods that society wants it to deliver.
This becomes extra problematic in the view of the continued environmental crises taking place in the agricultural ecosystem. A recent article that was published in Nature (Peer, June 2014) showed that also this latest version of the CAP, unless used incredibly effectively by Member States, will not deliver on the EU’s own biodiversity strategy.
On the other hand, Pillar 2 still represents a big source of funding for conservation measures such as agri-environment or forest-environment payments. The biggest issue with rural development is the lack of funding for targeted and effective schemes and the potential of harmful investment measures.
Since the latest reform of the CAP did not achieve the needed results for nature and EU citizens, policy makers will have to re-think the fundamentals of this policy.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.