“Fitness Check” for EU Agricultural Policy

More than 100 European NGOs, including EuroNatur, sent an open letter to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, calling on him to fundamentally question the Common Agricultural Policy’s (CAP) ability to address the fundamental challenges that Europe is facing in agriculture, nutrition, climate change, and resource use.

Cow on a pasture

More than 100 NGOs call for putting the EU’s agricultural policy to the test.

© Katharina Grund

Since early 2015, the European Commission has been conducting so-called ‘Fitness Checks’. According to the Commission, these are intended to evaluate the cost-benefit ratio and the effectiveness of EU legislation. However, the NGOs are criticising that this process so far mainly focused on nature conservation legislation. “It can no longer be overlooked that particularly the EU’s agricultural policy is counteracting nature and biodiversity preservation. Thus the European Commission now urgently has to scrutinize the present system of agricultural payments”, says EuroNatur Executive Director Gabriel Schwaderer.

A wide range of studies identified intensive agriculture as a main driver of biodiversity loss, soil degradation and water pollution. Further, scientists are forecasting that the agricultural sector will cause one third of the EU’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2050. Other deficiencies include a lack of animal welfare and negative impacts on agricultural markets in developing countries.

Open NGO letter to President of the European Commission Juncker (PDF, 0.5 MB)

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