Bad news for biodiversity on farmland

Brussels, 1 February 2024 – Following massive demonstrations by farmers in several Member States, which reached Brussels today, the European Commission (EC) decided yesterday to propose extending the GAEC 8 derogation for 2024. GAEC 8 requires farmers to leave 4% of their land for biodiversity.

With more than 1,000 tractors outside the EU headquarters, farmers from Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and other Member States are protesting to make their voices heard. Some of main complaints concern over-regulation, administrative burdens, and unfair competition from cheaper imports.

On 5th February, Member States will discuss and vote on the EC proposal. In the summer of 2022, a similar regulation was adopted. Back then, all Member State representatives vote in favour, except for Germany, which abstained.

Commenting on the EC proposal and the resulting problems for biodiversity, Torbjörn Larsson, FACE President, stated:

Farmers are facing real challenges and need to be better supported, however, removing GAEC 8 will not solve these problems. We need a more resilient farming policy to better support the needs of farmers and biodiversity”.

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