Europe and Central Asia
17 Apr 2013

New study shows CAP reform risks greenwashing

Cow. Photo: Ariel Brunner
By BirdLife Europe

During the final days of public negotiations on the EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), BirdWatch Ireland (BirdLife in Ireland) in collaboration with An Taisce (The national trust for Ireland), and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) organized a conference on “the role of the Irish Presidency in sealing the deal on a greener CAP”. At the event a new study was launched, demonstrating that greening of the CAP is on course to failure.

In response to the trend to greenwash CAP through heavy influence of vested corporate interest in European politics, BirdLife Europe, the EEB and WWF invited citizens to raise their voice through an e-action. 90 000 people called on their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to vote for a green CAP reform.

The study, which was commissioned by the EEB and carried out by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), states that allowing farmers to secure European funding, while not taking real measures to protect the environment, would thin down the greening objectives of the CAP reform.

The study assesses in broad terms the degree to which existing certification schemes for farm products (involving environmental requirements) or voluntary measures under agri-environment schemes could be considered to be ‘equivalent’ to the package of three compulsory greening measures proposed by the European Commission. The conclusion is that while equivalence may sound like a sensible and practical option in theory, the practical issues with its application are likely to lead to far greater administrative complexity and cost, both for Member States and within the Commission and with little additional environmental benefit.

Green Groups hope that the study, in addition to the e-action, will open decision makers’ eyes on the fact it is time to link speeches and concrete measures for a sustainable CAP, and stop greenwashing measures that will be of benefit to no one.

Read the summary briefing of the study Read BirdLife Europe’s reaction to the European Parliament plenary vote

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For more information please contact Elodie Cantaloube, Media and Communication Assistant at BirdLife Europe

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. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.