Study on farming and environment recommends more funds for rural development

A new study on Environmental Integration and the CAP, published by the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London, recommends a significant increase of the rural development funding.

The study recommend that "agri-environment should become a central plank of the common agricultural policy (CAP) rather than an accompanying measure". It recommends that a primary requirement would be to significantly enlarge the budget for rural development, and that further progress towards de-coupling farm subsidies from production would be appropriate in environmental terms. The study underlines the importance of CAP reform and strongly supports the direction pursued in the Commission's mid-term review proposals.

Some of the main conclusions of the study:

  • compulsory modulation or degressivity of direct payments to enable an expansion of agri-environmental and other environmental measures;
  • a reform of the sugar regime, involving significant price cuts;
  • removal or significant reform of aid for tobacco and dried fodder to eliminate their adverse environmental impacts;
  • the introduction of EU-level requirement for farm environmental auditing for those receiving direct payments;
  • review of the environmental impacts of the wine and fruit and vegetable regimes;
  • detailed study of the environmental implications of removing milk quotas;
  • more substantial budgetary shifts from market support measures to rural development;
  • further price cuts;
  • dismantling of quotas;
  • harmonisation of direct area-based aids in livestock sectors;
  • development of a more clearly environmentally benign form of income support to farms.


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