Europe and Central Asia

Invitation to 'CAP at Crossroads: Unity in Sustainability Makes Strength'



UPDATE JUNE 20TH, 2018: This event has happened already. The speakers' presentations are available below.


2018 is going to be a big year for nature in Europe. Both the communication on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the legislative proposal for a reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are expected later in the year. The Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU could not have come at a more critical juncture. Agriculture – the dominant land use in Europe – affects our nature critically. While the current CAP has failed to reverse current biodiversity decline trends in Europe, there is a wish to shift the CAP towards a more targeted and result-based policy post-2020.

The political discourse in Brussels and across Member States is buzzing with these hot topics – and the outcome of these debates will have a profound impact on all fields of policy, including environmental protection and nature financing. This is the opportunity to ensure that the European Union going forward serves both people and nature.

In parallel to the Informal Council on Agriculture and the Meeting of the EU Nature directors – the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) and the association ‘Europe and we’, together with BirdLife Europe & Central Asia and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), are hosting a workshop on the current implementation and the future of the CAP and nature financing in Bulgaria at the National Museum “Earth and Men” in Sofia, Bulgaria on 4 June 2018, from 10:00-17:30. The workshop will be followed by a cocktail reception.

‘Unity Makes Strength’: with the motto of the Bulgarian National Assembly now finding echo in the Bulgarian Presidency, we take a closer look at a country where almost a third of its biodiversity-rich territory is protected as Natura 2000 areas and ask – is the lesson here that ‘Unity in sustainability Makes Strength’? What lessons can be learnt from the current situation? How would new, alternative solutions affect Bulgarian nature and the farming community? What solutions do we need for the wider EU? Together with scientists, farmers, civil society and policy makers we want shed light on these questions.

A draft agenda of the workshop is available (last updated 24 May 2018). You can also register by following this link:



Dr. Bérénice Dupeux - A Result-based Approach to Address Environmental Issues

Yanka Kazakova - Supporting HNV farming in Western Stara Planina, Bulgaria

Nicky Petkov - The AES for the Red-breasted Goose - mainstreaming conservation priorities in NRDP in Bulgaria

Dr. Alex Copland - Rural Development Programming: Experiences from Ireland

Aard Mulders - The Dutch cooperative approach to AECMs

Vladimir Dobrev - Challenges of the current CAP: agricultural intensification as a risk to globally threatened birds and common farmland birds in Bulgaria

Sebastian Lakner & Magdalene Trapp - A nature friendly and economically viable CAP: What would it mean for typical farms in Bulgaria?

Michael Pielke - EU Budget: A Strong Budget for a Strong CAP