EPHAC contributed to the Policy Dialogue organised by EPC about the future of CAP
The European Policy Centre (EPC) think tank, in cooperation with the World Wide Fund (WWF) European Policy Office, organised a Policy Dialogue on 14 February, on the topic of ‘What future for the Common Agricultural Policy?’ The European Public Health & Agriculture Consortium (EPHAC) contributed to the debate highlighting the messages of the public health community towards the ongoing CAP reform.
Discussions on the common agricultural policy (CAP) are already heated, with different vested interests arguing over how funds should be distributed and how robust any ‘greening’ of the CAP should be.
The European Council has accepted a compromise agreement on the EU budget for 2014-2020, at the Summit held between 7-8 February 2013, and the AGRI Committee voted on its position between 23-24 March 2013.
The policy Dialogue examined the following questions:
“The new agricultural policy shall be competitive not only in Europe but also at global level. The future CAP policy will certainly have an impact on the EU-US free-trade negotiations,” said Herman Versteijlen, Director for Common Market Organisations for Agricultural Products, Directorate-General for Agriculture, European Commission.
Alan Matthews, Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy, Trinity College Dublin considered the current status of greening of CAP as a missed opportunity but considered that some flexibility is feasible so that the greening measures can be in line with the general budget.
Shelby Matthews, Chief Policy Advisor at COPA-COGECA highlighted that farmers would also like to have a climate-friendly, green CAP but it would also need to be economicly viable to them.
Dermot Ryan, Agriculture Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU stressed that the legislative procedure is not yet over, and that the EP plenary will give to the European Parliament a negotiating mandate.
Sébastien Godinot, Economist at WWF European Policy Office, highlighted that the EP plenary can still reverse the process and put the CAP reform back on the right track. He mentioned five key areas where the EP plenary should make improvements:
Contribution of the European Public Health & Agriculture Consortium (EPHAC) to the debate
Zoltán Massay-Kosubek highlighted that the public health community is very concerned about the current status of the CAP reform - especially in light of the AGRI vote which can be considered as unfavourable to the public health community.
For further insight, read the article below from British newspaper The Telegraph:
Euractive article about that event ’Fate of green CAP plans hangs on Parliament’
EPC article - The green light for a modern CAP?
"The agricultural sector accounts for 44% of water abstraction in Europe and much more work is needed to promote more sustainable use of Europe’s water resources. The sector relies heavily on the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers containing nitrates which are significant sources of water pollution. In France alone, the cost of treating water pollution originating from farming is €54 billion a year, most of which is passed on to consumers. Furthermore, this sector produces 9% of EU greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of the nitrous oxide emissions in Europe, despite generating only 1.6% of EU GDP and employing 5% of EU citizens (figures from 2011)."
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