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Press Release: Commission crushes CAP’s green promise, gambling with our food security 

The European Commission just published a proposal to make legislative changes to the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), allegedly responding to farmers' concerns and aiming to reduce administrative burden they face. In reality, this proposal is far from a real solution to the challenges that most farmers encounter. Instead, it is a frontal attack on the environmental elements of the CAP, which are already the bare minimum to tackle the pressing nature and climate emergencies.

By either eliminating, weakening, or allowing the non-enforcement of key components of the green architecture (such as Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs)), the proposal deals a severe blow to the CAP’s capacity to safeguard biodiversity and protect soil health. Dismissing the obligation for farms to allocate ‘space for nature’ will inevitably exacerbate the decline of crucial wildlife populations, including birds, butterflies, and pollinators. 

This move flies in the face of scientific consensus, including recent recommendations outlined in the European Environment Agency’s report on climate risks. It disregards the long-term interests of both farmers and society at large. Shockingly, the proposal has not undergone stakeholder consultations nor been subjected to an impact assessment. It is alarming that CAP funds, amounting to a third of the EU’s budget and derived from public taxes, may now be directed towards unsustainable practices. This decision is a direct affront to EU citizens who expect EU funds to actively support environmental objectives. 

We call on the Council and the Parliament to take their responsibility and reject this outrageous proposal and demand that the Commission puts forward real solutions.  

Marilda Dhaskali, EU Agriculture Policy Officer at BirdLife: “The Commission is only driven by short-term political gains ahead of the EU elections. By rendering measures to protect soil health and promote biodiversity optional or scrapping them, they disregard the urgent calls of progressive farmers for true solutions. Yet, what’s even worse is the flagrant disregard for democratic principles as this approach sidesteps essential stakeholder consultations and violates the Commission’s own protocols by lacking a thorough impact assessment. Our decision-makers are carelessly steering society towards critical tipping points, endangering both food security and our collective well-being at an unprecedented level of risk.” 

Cover photo by Lars Soerink

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