Greening the Common Agricultural Policy: First Report of Session 2012-13, Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
The Stationery Office, May 1, 2012 - Law - 154 pages
The European Commission proposes that 30% of 'direct payments' made to farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) would be conditional on compliance with three new 'greening' measures. While supporting the Commission's desire to improve the environment, the EFRA Committee rejects the approach proposed. Instead it calls for the EU to set high-level objectives for the CAP that provide for flexibility to apply the right measures for local conditions through 'decentralising' environmental protection under the CAP to Member States. This report highlights the huge benefit that UK 'agri-environment' schemes have brought to biodiversity, food production and the countryside. The Committee also urged Defra to ensure that the UK's tenant farmers should not be excluded from these schemes. The Committee concludes that Defra must ensure the balance of funding between mandatory and voluntary aspects of the CAP should not leave UK farmers at a competitive disadvantage relative to their counterparts in the rest of Europe. MPs also warn that measures proposed by the Commission would be even more complex than the current system - adding costly bureaucracy and generating more errors in the system. Likewise, the committee concludes that the Commission's crop diversification measure would in the UK have perverse consequences that are far less environmentally beneficial than crop rotation. Of the three 'greening' measures offered, the Commission's proposal for Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) has the potential to deliver the greatest environmental benefit. However, the lack of definitions within the proposals make it difficult to assess what, if any, such benefits would actually be delivered
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Improving the Commissions proposals
active farmer agreements agri-environment schemes Arik Dondi Barry Gardiner beneﬁcial biodiversity CAP reform Caroline Spelman Chair Commission proposals Commission’s proposals Common Agricultural Policy cost crop diversiﬁcation crop rotation cross compliance Dan Rogerson deﬁned deﬁnition deliver difﬁcult direct payments Ecological Focus Area ecosystem ensure Entry Level Stewardship environmental beneﬁts environmental outcomes Europe European Parliament ﬁeld ﬁgures ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂexibility Food and Rural food production food security funding Geoff Radley George Dunn George Eustice going greening measures greening proposals habitats Harry Cotterell hectares implementation land management mandatory greening Martin Nesbit Member Natural England natural environment negotiations Neil Parish options organic farming organisations permanent grassland permanent pasture Peter Kendall Pillar potential Professor Benton Professor Godfrey protection recommend that Defra Regulation Richard Drax RSPB Rural Affairs Committee Rural Development Rural Payments Agency signiﬁcant signiﬁcantly simpliﬁcation speciﬁc stewardship schemes sufﬁcient sustainable tenant farmers Wildlife Trusts