CAP must meet EU environmental expectations

Environmentally harmful subsidies should be named and phased out by 2020, according to a European Parliament resolution to preserve and restore damaged ecosystems. The vote took place during the Strasbourg plenary session on Friday.

More than three quarters of MEPs present voted for Gerbern-Jan Gerbrandy’s biodiversity report: 414 voted in favour, 55 against and 64 abstained. The European Parliament comprises 754 MEPs.

The resolution recommends environmental coherence in reforming existing EU-level policies: “The real key to this issue is not this new strategy, but rather, the forthcoming reforms of the common agricultural and fisheries policies and the multiannual financial framework (MFF).”

MEPS note that CAP environment protection measures: “…have so far failed to halt the overall decline of biodiversity.” The parliamentarians argue that CAP payments, including those made from 2014, should “…be underpinned by robust cross-compliance rules which contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services,” covering legislation on birds and habitats, water, pesticides and biocides.

Shortcomings in the current European economy mean that the CAP should pay farmers working for providing public services, because: “…the market currently fails to integrate the economic value of the important public goods which agriculture can deliver.”

However, the next phase of the CAP will require payments to be: “…underpinned by robust cross-compliance rules which contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services,” the resolution said, setting a target date for this. “All existing environmentally harmful subsidies should be identified, and phased out by 2020.”

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