Urgent message from Denmark: "CAP must support sustainable farming"
On Friday 2 March, BirdLife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) launched a video highlighting the many problems facing the European agricultural ecosystem, at the conference they co-organized with their Danish Members in Copenhagen, including DOF/BirdLife in Denmark. The opening animation set the tone of the conference, demonstrating with strong facts and figures the urgent need to shift money towards more sustainable practices - a pre-requisite for our long-term food security.
Denmark’s Minister for Agriculture, Mette Gjerskov opened the event with a statement ensuring that sustainability was one of her main priorities as a Minister and Chair of the European Council. To her the 40% that the CAP represents in the EU budget have to be invested in the future, reminding that the current reform is a unique opportunity to make the necessary adaptations.
Representatives of the Danish EU Presidency, Members of the European Parliament, environmental NGOs, industry, farmers and citizens gathered for the conference in the Danish Parliament to answer the question: “How can the new proposals of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) be the right path to sustainable farming?” One of the main messages was that European decision makers urgently need to improve the current CAP proposals in order to ensure environmental benefits. In times of budgetary pressures, taxpayers’ money needs to be used to secure long-term benefits for our environment and the farmers.
Effective environmental outcomes are needed, and not the mere green rhetoric the current proposals are presenting. The conference was held at the heart of the co-decision process, with the Parliament and Council discussing the Commission’s proposals released in October 2011. The focus was set on the key role the Danish Presidency will have to play in this process and the opportunity was given to several farmers to show their sustainable practices that could inspire decision makers in the difficult process ahead. Birdlife Europe expects that the Danish Presidency will take up a leadership role in driving the process towards an ambitious outcome: on one hand offering real sustainable solutions, while on the other hand ensuring strong environmental safeguards. BirdLife Europe and the EEB hope that together with the Danish Presidency and the Parliament, they will achieve a historical CAP reform leading towards a more sustainable future.