Latest from EU Member States

Ecological Focus Area (EFA) in Germany: good for biodiversity & the tax payer?

Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) were supposed to be a core part of the greening of CAP: public goods – biodiversity protection – for public money – the citizens tax revenue. However EFAs were watered down to the point of near meaninglessness, we argued here in 2014. In this guest blog post by Sebastian Lakner, the poor biodiversity performance of EFAs in Germany is outlined. […]

Latest from Brussels

CAP Webinar with Samuel Féret – online now!

+++++UPDATE+++++ In case you missed it or you’d like to reCAP: Watch the webinar ‘Greening or Green-Washing?’ hosted by ARC2020’s Samuel Féret here: By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.Learn more Load video Always unblock YouTube Guest article by Michaela Skodova Groupe de Bruges ARC2020’s Samuel Feret will deliver a webinar 30 minute CAP Webinars on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM BST.  To register, please follow this link. Feret’s topic is “CAP: greening or green-washing?”.  Feret, Groupe de Bruges president is one of the authors for the CAP Pro course. Each month experts will give a 30 minute webinar on one of the current issues in the implementation of the CAP. Check the ‘Can EU CAP it?’ platform for more information and sign up for the next one. All aspects of the platform are free. Get your CAP on and join us! The platform consists of five parts: CAP Game, CAP Basic videos, CAP Pro course, CAP Webinars & CAP Forums. We would like to raise your attention […]

Recent updates

CAP Simplification – simply destroying greening?

According to the EU Commission, a first set of specific actions towards CAP simplification have been announced by Commissioner Phil Hogan, on issues related to the guidelines for Direct Payments this year. Hogan explained: “Some of the proposals which concern direct payments do not require changing the legislative rules, but can be implemented at the level of our current guidelines, and applicable already this year. I intend to follow-up on these proposals by making 6 concrete changes which should facilitate the lives of farmers and national administrations.” These six changes proposed relate to the EFA-layer (Ecological Focus Area), adjacent EFAs, the LPIS (Land Parcel Identification system) and compensation of EFAs in case of wrong declaration. More specifically, the Commission intends: to accept that Member States, that so wish, only need to map declared EFAs; to allow flexibility as regards the identification of EFA’s in the EFA-layer (concerns hedges or wooded strips and trees in line); to allow hedges or wooded strips with gaps up to 4 metres; as regards the implementation of adjacent EFA, in […]

Latest from EU Member States

Romania: Redrawing CAP Support Areas to Favour Oligarchs and Land Grabbers

Written by Attila Szocs, Land Rights Campaigner at Eco Ruralis This week, Romania received the formal approval from the European Commission for the starting of the National Rural Development Plan (NRDP) for the 2014-2020 time frame. This enables the Romanian Ministry for Agriculture, to launch all measures of the program. Formal declarations were made at the end of an official meeting in Bucharest, between Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Daniel Constantin, Romanian Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development. A delicate matter was raised during the discussions. The Romanian authorities requested the re-designation of the “Less Favored Areas” (LFAs) of the country, given the fact that some of the provisions led to the exclusion of vulnerable areas which were formerly part of support plans. Commissioner Hogan underlined that the issue is known at an EU level but that “there is a regulatory problem which cannot be solved”. A paradox situation, given the fact that the Romanian Ministry for Agriculture accomplished the re-designation in the first place.  LFAs are geographical areas where agricultural production is qualitatively and quantitatively […]

Recent updates

Czech Agriculture – using CAP for agroecology?

Czech Republic is the European Union country with the highest share of arable land, around 38% of its surface. Despite this fact, recent trends give clear evidence for an enormous decrease of agricultural land due to the expansion of urbanization and industrialization plans across the country. However the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU) could potentially push Czech Republic to promote an environmentally and socially sustainable agriculture. The process of land degradation in Czech Republic has its roots in the agricultural land expropriations of the 1950s done by the communist regime. During that time agricultural policy focused mostly on the large-scale consolidation of farmlands as well as on highly intensive methods of production through the use of agrochemicals without consideration of potential environmental risks.  In light of the „Velvet revolution“ in 1989 the political and economic changes gave rise various agricultural currents, from agroindustry to organic farming. Already in 1990 the Ministry for Agriculture established its own department for „alternative agriculture“, handing out Governmental support in form of direct subsidies to […]