Main stories

EU Organic Action Plan – Decoding Texts of Supposed Support

The European Parliament recently proclaimed its support for organic farming and food, by an overwhelming majority. However, delving into the details a little, it turns out that our MEPs could be accused of offering pie in the sky – salvation via organic farming’s great sustainability performance some time in the future, provided no real significant changes are made in the here and now. Here we critically assess the language used line by line, to help decode the more hidden  motivations behind the eurospeak.  […]

Latest from EU Member States

Changes “required” to Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan – European Commission

Changes in the CAP strategic Plan submitted by Ireland are “required”. In the Observation Letter sent to Ireland – which you can download below – there are a number of areas the European Commission has called for changes in. The overall green architecture itself, including eco-schemes especially, needs work, if Ireland is to achieve its environmental targets. There is a distinct lack of ambition, scoring, and incentives for stronger environmental practices. Increasing dairy herd numbers is named directly as making the necessary changes more difficult. That the letter’s language is strident in places is noteworthy. So what is the Commission asking for? And what comes next? Oliver Moore reports.   […]

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 EU Institutions – Productivity Now, Environment Maybe Later

With war in Ukraine, the EU institutions made a concerted effort to shore up its highly exposed agri-industrial food system this week. Emergency money and ecologically protected lands are to be used for food security – as expressed through animal feed and mineral fertilizer supply. Along the way, delays and derailings to greener transition have occurred in pesticides regulation, in environmental elements of CAP, and more. So is the EU Green Deal becoming pie in the sky? Oliver Moore and Ashley Parsons report.   […]

Main stories

MEPs have a final plenary CAP vote this week – what’s at stake?

Despite the spin, after years of negotiations, the CAP that will be voted on this week in Strasbourg does little of substance to really address the crises – climate and biodiversity – and does as little as possible to address fairness. And there will be much talk of the greenest CAP ever, but this is mostly hot air unfortunately. Here we outline what’s being voted on in plenary, present related survey data from EEB/Birdlife, IFOAM EU and share the views of Sommer Ackerman of the Withdraw the CAP movement.  […]

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Slashing Space for Nature? Ireland Backsliding on CAP basics

Cutting space for nature on farms, from its own proposed level of 5% to just 4%, is the most brutal of adjustments mooted by the Department of  Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in one of the final CAP consultations last Thursday.  A list of five for the most part unambitious eco-schemes has also been announced, which will do little to move Irish agriculture towards a more environmentally sustainable place.  […]

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Ireland’s Our Rural Future – a rural digitisation gold standard? 

Broadband for all, even in the most remote regions; smart, revitalised villages and towns with hundreds of remote working hubs; a rural youth assembly, significant numbers of public and private workers for rural areas; Local Digital Strategies in administrative regions; and all done in a well-planned way to optimize synergies and transition towards carbon neutrality –  it sound like a sustainable rural digitalisation dream. So is it?  […]

Latest from Brussels

CAP and Climate – What Exactly did Auditors Find?

€100 billion of CAP funds attributed to climate action had “little impact” on greenhouse gas emissions. That’s according the European Court of Auditors, in a report released 21st June.  Here we unpack in detail where and how CAP is failing on climate, and what the auditors recommend. Part one of two  – part two will critically assess the report, with a particular focus on organic farming. By Oliver Moore. […]

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Parliament CAP-itulation | Council-Driven Compromise Deal Scuppers Fair, Green CAP

Parliament CAP-itualtes on all major elements of fairness for farmers and environmental standards. A leaked negotiating document reveals just 85% convergence, huge flexibilities and exemptions, all remaining GAECs weakened, eco-schemes weakened, and even the introduction of brand new exemptions that have never been in the negotiations before. Council wins, people and planet loose. […]

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Organics, Agroforestry, Eco-schemes – for a Just Transition in Ireland

ARC2020’s Oliver Moore spoke to JOCECA – the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Climate Action – a Committee in the Irish Parliament. This comes just as the CAP trilogues start to finish, and as the Irish Parliament (Dáil) approves an ambitious Climate Bill which aims for 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. Below is a transcript of what he said. A longer version of an accompanying paper is also in the article.   […]

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Parliament Holds Firm as Council Demands Rejected – for now

Despite a sequence of late night meetings and to-and-fro of proposals covering most of the contentious outstanding areas, the so-called jumbo-trilogues talks have ended without agreement. Parliament and Council failed to reconcile their positions on a number of key areas. The remaining areas include”green architecture” (a number of GAECs, ring-fencing of support for eco-schemes and environmental investments, tracking climate spending, alignment to the Green Deal), internal convergence, the social dimension and coupled income support. So what happened? […]

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CAP, Interrupted – So Withdraw the CAP!

As trilogues to decide the future of CAP progress behind closed doors, the business-as-usual lobby is fighting its corner with some level of exacerbation. They are annoyed with the Commission, with the scientific community, and with young people in the decision-making corridors. Fridays for Future and a host of civil society stakeholders want the Commission to Withdraw the CAP, and the case for doing just this is mounting, as the chasm between the European Green Deal and CAP widens. […]