The CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) is the agricultural reform launched in 1962, it is an agreement between Europe and farmers. On 23 October the new CAP was approved and should enter into force in 2023 until 2027. It brings together the rules created by the European Union to develop the agricultural sector in a fair way. It is managed and financed through the European agricultural guarantee fund (EAGF) and the European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD).
Let’s see what the main objectives of this reform are. As stated in the report, the CAP aims to support farmers to improve agricultural productivity and ensure a stable supply of affordable food, to protect farmers to make a reasonable living, to help tackle climate change and manage natural resources in a sustainable way, to protect rural areas and landscapes across the European territory and also to keep the rural economy alive by promoting jobs in farming and in the different agri-foods industries.
According to the CAP, it is important that agriculture is environmentally sustainable, in fact the report states: “Farmers have a double challenge – to produce food whilst simultaneously protecting nature and safeguarding biodiversity. Using natural resources prudently is essential for our food production and for our quality of life – today, tomorrow and for future generations”.
As expected the approval of the reform has led to different criticisms, especially from the world of environmental organisations that would like greater commitment and seriousness from governments and from the European Union.
Greenpeace organisation defines the CAP as the death sentence for small farms that will disappear, for the climate and the environment, but not only, it will also be the death sentence for the European Green Deal.
Fridays For Future association with its petition called for the immediate withdrawal of the CAP and considered its approval as an incentive for harmful farming practices, loss of soil fertility and loss of biodiversity, rather than an incentive to promote sustainable alternatives, as it should actually be.
Stefano Ciafani of Legambiente commented on the approval that took place a few days ago at the European Parliament, expressing his total disappointment with this vote which determines “a serious stop in the ecological transition”. He also expressed his belief that this decision will remove any hope that CAP will be a concrete part of the European Green Deal. In conclusion, Ciafani hopes that “the final approval process will find space to recover at least part of the efforts made by the Von Der Leyen Commission to ensure the ecological transition”.
In the coming months we will understand how the situation will evolve, we will see whether “Europe” will take steps back or the CAP approval will continue the path already undertaken.