Background

The EU Budget and the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP): Worrying signals for biodiversity

European hunters are aware that the CAP is a crucial support mechanism for agriculture and rural areas in Europe. However, hunters and national hunting associations are also aware of the significant impact of agriculture driven by the CAP on the environment, biodiversity and the status of many huntable species in Europe.

Yesterday, the European Commission presented the next Multiannual Financial Framework, which included important changes to the budget of the CAP. Because of Brexit and shifting political objectives, the total amount of the CAP spending will decrease with 6%. Worryingly, the biggest cut is taking place in Pillar II payments, which allow Member States to put in place for example agri-environmental measures that can, if implemented properly, improve farmland biodiversity.

The Commission proposes a new ‘delivery model’ for the next CAP with a more flexible approach for Member States. With a strong financial focus on Pillar I (direct payments) and a reduction in Pillar II payments, this is where European agriculture could fail to deliver on its biodiversity goals again. Not enough money is being allocated for dealing with the collapse of biodiversity and CAP architecture is largely left unchanged.

In the coming months the discussion on the next budget will continue in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. We are urging decision-makers to make the EU taxpayers money work for our common future and biodiversity.