Is the CAP debate heating up in Spain?

This coming Monday, 28th May, Amigos de la Tierra, Ecologistas en Acción, Greenpeace, SEO/BirdLife and WWF will hold a debate in the European Parliament in Madrid to examine just how green and fair the CAP is.

Event poster

Among the participants will be representatives of the EU Commission and Parliament, local and national governments, farmers, unions, representatives from ecological and consumer organisations, and other interested groups.

The aim of the event is to discuss and advance the proposals of the Commission for the CAP beyond 2013, especially with regard to the environmental and social implications. Key questions will include:

  • How can we ensure that the future of the CAP is really greener?
  • How can we ensure that the delivery of aid will be more just and equitable?

According to the organisers, the debate is taking place at a crucial stage of the reform process. Despite the Commission’s proposals being published 8 months ago, the positions of the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) or the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture is still not known.

Spain is one of the main beneficiaries of the CAP budget, yet there is almost no public debate with civil society on the reform. Such a debate would permit detailed comment on the measures that are needed to be taken in order to face up the social and environmental challenges deriving from the CAP.

The NGO organising Monday’s event believe that, although insufficient, the EC proposals present a step in the right direction. However they warn that trying to go against the environmental aspects of this new reform may eventually pose a significant cut in the CAP budget. In fact integrating fully the challenges of natural resources, biodiversity or climate change is precisely what enabled a funding level for the next period similar to the present to be presented.

In a recent joint press release WWF and SEO BirdLife, denounced that the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture was part of a group of Member States proposing to eliminate the “greening” aspect of the CAP. The information came from a leaked paper from Luxembourg at the last European Agricultural Council meeting. The ideas put forward in the paper suggest the Member States should be able to choose the environmental measures, by establishing a menu of voluntary options or a small shift of funds from Pillar I to II. NGOs claim that this proposal would reduce the necessary guarantees to ensure environmental benefits and increase the inequalities between farmers, according to the will of each country.

At the same time, BirdLife and WWF Spain presented a new report with their updated proposals on CAP based on the fundamental principles of “public money for public goods,” and “polluter pays” as well as stressing the importance of “greening”.

Is the CAP debate heating up in Spain? Let’s see on Monday.

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About Myrto Pispini 41 Articles

Myrto Pipsini’s work covers both Greece and Spain. Currently a freelancer, Myrto has 15 years experience in environmental organisations, campaigning on agriculture and food issues. Being based in Spain and Greece, and being a lover of all good and natural Mediterranean food, she is experimenting with growing her own food, putting in practice what she is campaigning for.