Latest from Brussels

CAP | Billions Spent on Biodiversity with Little Impact – Auditors

The EU has funnelled €66 billion into farmland biodiversity since 2014 – and has little to show for it. That’s the conclusion of a special report released on Friday by the European Court of Auditors. The auditors slammed the half-baked targets of the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy, its odd-couple relationship with CAP, lack of monitoring, and some very un-smart spending by the European Commission. A series of recommendations have been made. Louise Kelleher reports. […]

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CAP Transitional Regulation – Running to Stand Still

Some things move fast while others can seemingly be delayed indefinitely. And sometimes, as if by magic, both can happen at one and the same time. So it is with the CAP transitional regulation, where real transformation in agri-food is delayed by a further two years – but the process to do this is itself being fastracked at breakneck speed. The CAP process it seems, is running to stand still. […]

Latest from key partners

For the Sake of Nature and the Climate, Europe must not CAP its Ambitions

The European Commission continues to describe the Common Agricultural Policy as “ambitious”, yet its own evaluation of the CAP’s impact reveals that the farm subsidy scheme is inflicting massive damage on Europe’s biodiversity, water resources and nature. In this in-depth feature, Célia Nyssens of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) explains why the CAP is not fit for purpose and outlines how it can be reformed. […]

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Reviewing Ecological Focus Areas: A Cross Pollination of Ideas

Insect pollinators continue to decline across Europe despite the Common Agricultural Policy’s increased focus on environmental protection. In response, a group of experts are calling for the improved quality of wildlife habitats through more targeted management and a robust monitoring framework, and a diversity of habitats to meet the resource requirements of our pollinating insects. […]

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Commission’s Dodgy Calculations Improve CAP’s Climate Impact

The “Green Deal” Commission promises big spending on climate. If climate markers are to be believed, the current CAP accounts for 22% of the EU’s climate spending. The post-2020 CAP is poised to take even more climate credit. But the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) claims the Commission’s climate markers miss the mark. In a report released earlier this month the IEEP sounds the alarm on faulty climate accounting and greenwashing of direct payments. […]

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Alan Matthews on the Current CAP process in Ireland

In this second of a two part series with Alan Matthews, we discuss his home country of Ireland and CAP. Oliver Moore speaks with Matthews on Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions; its increasing herd size, in particular in dairy; the success of the European Innovation Partnerships; the role of coops; issues facing the beef sector; diversification and more.   […]

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Alan Matthews on the Current CAP Process | Part 1

Alan Matthews runs the CAPreform.eu blog, one of the best and most consistent sources of up to date, detailed  analysis of all things CAP. Here we present part one from an interview between our own Oliver Moore and Professor Matthews. Part one is broad and introductory, looking at what the Commission has proposed and potential pitfalls. Part two is more specific and related to Matthews’ home country of Ireland.  […]

Main stories

Ensuring an environmentally aware CAP: A battle of measures

Payment for Environmental Services (PES) is an oft-mentioned concept in post-2020 CAP debates. But it tends to overshadow the agri-environment-climate measures (AECMs) which have played an important role in the CAP for the past 2 decades. Which is the best way of integrating environmental concern? Frédéric Courleux weighs up the debate.  […]

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Climate Extremes Cause CAP Greening Rollback

CAP greening changes have been announced by the EU Commission because of drought However, these moves have annoyed some as they involve the cancellation of measures supposed to help make farming more resilient and robust in the face of climate extremes. And what will happen next, once this emergency passes? […]

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Future of CAP – is the Commission ambitious or backsliding?

Here we round up some recent perspectives on the Commission’s CAP proposal. This includes a summary of the 18 months of work that went into the document(s), concern over capping backsliding, a briefing on conditionality, which member states want to keep the cash as it was, and an Urgenci (CSA) and Birdlife perspective. […]

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CAP | Leaked Document Reveals Money – but Little Else – May Change

Capping CAP payments at E60,000, a specific compulsory payment to small farmers, adjustment of basic income to basic income support “for sustainability”, changes in young farmer supports, and a move from rural development over to risk management via insurance are just some of the proposals in freshly leaked CAP proposals. Read on for document to download and ARC analysis. […]