Europe and Central Asia
22 Mar 2016

NGOs demand thorough review of the Common Agricultural Policy

By Zeynep Karasin

More than 100 NGOs active in farming, development, environment, climate, animal welfare, food systems and public health, have signed a joint letter to the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to demand a review of the European food and farming system.

The CAP, which accounts for almost 40% of the EU Budget, is not equipped to address the fundamental challenges that Europe is facing in the agriculture sector.

It has not been able to prevent and in many cases even paved the way for an unfair system for farmers, a constant crisis on agricultural markets, a continuous decline in the state of natural resources, failures in delivering in animal welfare, serious public health effects, and severe negative impacts beyond Europe’s borders.

The European Commission needs to urgently evaluate if the CAP fulfils its objectives and conduct an ambitious “Fitness Check”; it is time for President Juncker to step up his commitment to the better regulation agenda.

Trees Robijns, Senior EU Agriculture and Bioenergy Policy Officer at BirdLife Europe [2], stated: “We need a good, open and honest debate with all stakeholders about the CAP based on five points so often touted by the fitness check: its effectiveness, efficiency, coherence with other EU policies, relevance and the added value of an EU-wide policy against national ones. Essentially, the EU would finally have to ask itself (and answer) the question: Is the CAP fit for purpose?”

The money spent on the CAP has to deliver policy that benefits EU citizens, farmers, our environment, our animals, our health and climate. To ensure this, we need a “Fitness check” of the CAP and we need it to start now!

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For more insights check out the Landscapes Blog podcast with Trees Robijns, Senior EU Agriculture & Bioenergy Policy Officer for 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.