Here you will find the answers of the EU parliamentarians to our request regarding a statement on the paper developed by Naturefund for a more sustainable design of the European agricultural policy in the future.We received a total of ten responses from the 96 parliamentarians questioned.
Maria Noichl is a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality. She is also the deputy of the subcommittee on human rights and the delegation for relations with South Africa. more
THANK YOU for your thoughts on a good, new agricultural policy.Unfortunately, we are very, very far from it.The current trialogue result is neither fairer nor really ecological, nor does it stop farms from dying in Germany and the EU.
As the agricultural spokeswoman for the SPD group in the European Parliament and as negotiator for the S&D, I will recommend my SPD colleagues not to agree to this compromise in the autumn.It is not a result for the future.It is a persistence in the current (unjust and not very ecological) system.As a group of the SPD, we have already not approved the mandate from the EP, which was too soft.
Timo Wölken is a member of the Legal Affairs Committee and the Delegation for Relations with Canada. He is also a deputy in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and in the delegation to the EU-Albania Stabilization and Association Parliamentary Committee. more
Thank you for sending the proposal.
I agree with you that we need a different agricultural policy in order to protect the climate, biodiversity and soil. Adaptation to the consequences of global warming, which can no longer be avoided, must also be considered and addressed in agricultural policy. Together with the European SPD, I have therefore campaigned for a redesign of funding through the EU's common agricultural policy.
Since I am not working on the details in the Committee on Agriculture, I cannot give you a detailed answer to each of your many proposals, but would like to explain my position to you in general: I think that agricultural policy should not promote property, but public performance. This is what we as the European SPD have advocated in the current negotiations on the common agricultural policy. For example, we see climate, water, pollinator and moor protection as a public service. In addition, we demand animal protection well above the legal framework. Unfortunately, however, we did not achieve a majority in the European Parliament with this stance. You can find my statement here: https://www.facebook.com/twoelken/posts/2729376433979195.
The European Parliament is currently negotiating the final agreement on agricultural policy with the agriculture ministers of the member states. There is a threat of a further weakening of the payment link, which we are resolutely countering. A redesign of the funding structure is urgently needed so that we can achieve the very welcome goals that the European Commission describes in its "Farm to Fork" strategy: This is not just about classic agricultural policy ( “Courtyard”), but about the entire food chain, right up to the consumer's dining table.
Some of the goals and announcements of measures:
We will continue to work in this legislature to make these goals feasible.
Norbert Lins is Chairman of the Agriculture Committee (AGRI) and also a member of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). He is also a member of the delegation to the EFTA states (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein) and the Mexico delegation. more
Thank you very much for your message.
Here is the answer from Mr. Lins: The reform that has been adopted is the largest agricultural reform since 1992. It is becoming more ambitious, fairer and focuses on farmers. A good balance was found between sustainability, food security, competitiveness and social justice. The new CAP will primarily support small and family businesses. For me, this fairer distribution of direct payments was a key issue in the reform. With a mandatory redistribution of 10% for the first time, farmers with smaller farms are now being given targeted support. As a result, over 80% of payments will go to farms of up to 250 ha in the future.
With internal convergence - that is, the alignment of direct payments within a country - I would have wished for more. This would have made the CAP even fairer. Unfortunately, the council was unwilling to go above 85% here. I welcome the agreement on environmental and climate action - it links the right path to Paris with competitive agriculture. For the years 2023-2027, 25% of the direct payments will be used exclusively for the new eco-regulations.
There is some flexibility to get farmers used to the programs. Member states that already apply a large number of agri-environmental measures in the second pillar are allowed to offset these amounts for ecosystem measures (discount system). We as Parliament have thus convinced the Council of significantly higher ambitions.
Christine Scheider is a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and advocates women's rights and gender equality. She is also a member of the delegation for relations with South Africa, deputy of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, and of the delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament. more
Thank you for your message.
You are addressing a very important topic. In order to respond to your paper, I would first like to present my personal relation to the topic and address the role of the consumer. The protection of our natural resources is not only part of my work as a member of the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, but also an important part of my private life: I buy almost exclusively in my village shop and, above all, regional products. Because, as the World Health Organization (WHO) makes clear, our shopping and eating behavior is a fundamental measure in promoting sustainable and regional agriculture.
I would now like to comment on your political demands on the common agricultural policy (CAP). The EPP protects rural areas. With the GAP, we are making agriculture in Europe strong and increasingly sustainable. We protect millions of family farms across Europe, keep rural communities alive and secure jobs in the food sector. This is not just about rules for farms, but about the social fabric in Europe's rural areas. We want more sustainable agriculture not through overregulation and bans, but through the creation of incentives.
The compromise that we have reached is even more ambitious than the Commission proposal on ecological issues: at least 35% of all rural development funds must be used for environmental and climate measures and 30% of investments must benefit the environment. The protection of biodiversity is also regulated: in the new, green architecture of the CAP, the protection of biodiversity is one of the most important goals and is taken into account better than ever before. Organic regulations create these incentives for farmers and their results are monitored.
But like you, we also think that the reformed CAP must strike a fair balance between the high level of ambition for the climate and the environment and the demands of society. The new CAP protects and benefits small and medium-sized family farms and young farmers. It limits payments to large beneficiaries and provides a definition of an "active farmer" that we can use to avoid funding large landowners who have no real connection to agriculture. With this in mind, we hope that the new CAP will support the almost 10 million family-run businesses that supply the European region with food.
I would like to thank you again for your message.
Marlene Mortler is a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), a deputy on the Development Committee (DEVE) and a deputy on the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). Since September 2020 she has also been Deputy Chair of the Committee of Inquiry into the Protection of Animals During Transport. more
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
thank you for your letter and your suggestions on the common agricultural policy.Due to the thematic responsibility, I can also answer on behalf of my CSU and EPP colleague Markus Ferber.
Many of your points are worth considering and we share some of your approaches.Supporting regional farmers, food security and strengthening a resilient food system are points that were of great importance to the EPP in the trialogue negotiations.No regional farmers without regional products!
It is good that the CAP negotiations are now over.The result is one thing, planning security for our farmers and thus the rapid implementation of national strategic plans is another.
Your working paper and your approaches remain interesting and are a good input for future negotiations.
Michael Gahler is a member of the executive board of the EPP parliamentary group and the CDU / CSU group in the European Parliament, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, a member of the Subcommittee on Security and Defense and a deputy member of the Transport and Tourism Committee. He is also a member of the delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and a deputy member of the delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament. more
As you probably know, on June 25th an agreement was reached between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the EU's new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). After a transition phase for the years 2021 and 2022, the new regulations will take effect from 2023 and will apply until 2027. This agreement was preceded by a lengthy and difficult negotiation process that began in 2018. At the end of 2020, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers defined their negotiating positions, which set the framework for the final negotiation phase.
The European Parliament, which was represented in the negotiations by the chairman of the agricultural committee Norbert Lins (CDU from BaWü) and the responsible rapporteur Peter Jahr (CDU from Saxony), achieved important successes in achieving a balance between sustainability, food security, competitiveness and enable social justice. Among other things, from the budget of the common agricultural policy of 270 billion euros for 2021 to 2027, 10 percent of the direct payments to the member states are intended to promote small and medium-sized farms. The EU is thus making an important contribution to supporting family farms. The agreement also provides that 25 percent of the direct payments, i.e. a total of 48 billion euros, must be used for environmental measures, so that agriculture will also make a valuable contribution to environmental protection. It is precisely this that can be seen as a major negotiating success for the European Parliament, when you consider that the Council only wanted to earmark EUR 24 billion for this in its original proposal.
The new CAP also preserves the tried and tested 2-pillar structure of the CAP, which in addition to the European direct payments in the first pillar with the second pillar enables the member states to take national measures to take account of the respective national, regional and local circumstances and thus to achieve sustainable solutions. Because in a union of 27 states with differently structured agricultural systems and regional characteristics, blanket approaches or plans inevitably prove to be counterproductive.
The GAP agreement that has now been reached also offers various starting points for your proposal. The compulsory use of 25 percent of direct payments for ecological regulations is combined with the possibility for the member states to set up programs to promote the development of soils with high humus and nutrient content in their national strategic plans. In addition, 35 percent of the funds in the Fund for Rural Development, i.e. the second pillar, are earmarked for measures that benefit the environment, the climate and animal welfare. The contact persons in this context are the competent authorities of the Member States, to whom I would like to refer you.
The promotion of diversity in rural areas in order to take regional characteristics into account is a central element of the second pillar of the CAP. Among other things, this enables measures for the protection and development of forest areas, advisory and training measures for farmers, infrastructure expansion in rural areas and the promotion of cooperation between actors in agriculture and forestry. The regional marketing of products is also a core component of the so-called “from farm to table” strategy, which contains a series of measures and is to ultimately lead to a legislative proposal in 2023 to create a European legal framework for sustainable food systems.
The approach contained in your proposal to secure the income of farmers to develop a bonus system for certain services, such as nature conservation measures, can also be found in a comparable form in the new CAP. In addition to the above-mentioned basic income security through the redistribution of 10 percent of the direct payments in favor of small and medium-sized farms, reference should be made here above all to the guidelines on good agricultural and ecological condition (GAEC) that already existed under the old CAP. The payment of premiums under GAEC follows the principle of conditionality, so that premiums are only paid if the respective conditions have been met by the farmers. These minimum measures on the part of farmers have already been the case with so-called “greening” and “cross compliance” and will be expanded with the future GAP. GAEC 1 for the preservation of permanent grassland and GAEC 9 for a minimum proportion of 4% non-productive area are to be emphasized. In addition, the so-called “eco schemes” offer the member states in the first pillar the opportunity to promote further voluntary environmental measures. Animal welfare programs can also be offered by the Member States under the first and second pillars.
As you can see, the CAP as a whole depends to a decisive extent on the respective member states, which are called upon to use the framework created by the CAP with their national strategies, not least to encourage farmers to volunteer even more with attractive programs . Even though it cannot be dismissed out of hand that the CAP will make great demands on our farmers, it sets the course for sustainable, ecologically sustainable and socially balanced agriculture that ensures high-quality food supplies for European citizens.
Joachim Kuhs is a member of the Budgetary Control Committee and the Budget Committee. more
We would like to answer your inquiry dated July 6th, 2021. Unfortunately, this took a little longer because we were working intensively on your working paper.
In general, we as the AfD support your concerns, as described in your “Working Paper for a Modern Common Agricultural Policy (GAP) 2021-2027”. This is also the concern of the AfD, and is anchored in our basic program. See an excerpt from it below.
We also advocate the promotion of sustainability, as well as the smaller and regional farms, which urgently need to be supported, also financially. It is also important to pay attention to the soil procurement and the ecosystem for healthy soils. We therefore welcome your commitment to future-oriented agricultural structures and the preservation of ecosystems.
Mr. Kuhs will also stand up for your cause in the European Parliament because it is very important to him to support the farmers, especially the smallholders. Unfortunately, he cannot promise you that anything will change in European agricultural policy. But whatever is in his power, he will stand up for you so that a rethinking of European agricultural policy can finally take place.
We wish you continued strength and success in the struggle for a better future for farmers.
Martin Buschmann is a member of the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and deputy in the Committee for Regional Development (REGI). more
Thank you for your message and your interest in my work.
I think your proposal for a modern agricultural policy is great and I support every point.
However, if I go a little further there are also enormous hurdles to get all this off the ground. Lobbyism, especially at the European level, is a deep thorn in political work. In Brussels alone, we are talking about around 25,000 lobbyists who influence MEPs, commissioners and senior officials on behalf of companies and business associations. Conflicts of interest of the MPs are not penalized and, moreover, are often not noticed or disclosed. On the whole, I suppose this will be the hardest part of getting your great proposal in and through.
Since you also mentioned tax relief for, in your example, regional products in your proposal: I have also been campaigning for a tax change for years. In terms of taxation, for me as an animal welfare representative, the main thing that should change is that animal products are taxed at 7%, while vegetable products are taxed at 19%. Animal cruelty, nitrate pollution, compacted soils, methane emissions, feed cultivation, which wastes valuable cultivation areas and resources in order to produce an unhealthy, absolutely unsustainable and often tortured “food” in the second step, are no longer to be supported.
I fully support your proposal and would add my request to it.
Martin Häusling is a member of the European Parliament for the green party and their agricultural policy spokesman as well as deputy head of the German delegation. He is also a member and coordinator for the Greens in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) and a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). more
Thank you for your interest and your message.
We would like to draw your attention to Martin Häusling's position on the renewal of the EU agricultural policy (GAP): martin-haeusling.eu/images/170808_Standpunkt_Martin_H%C3%A4usling_zur_Erneuerung_der_GAP.pdf;
Further information on Martin Häusling's work on the GAP can be found here: martin-haeusling.eu/themen/eu-agrarreform.html
Manuela Ripa is a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on International Trade, the Subcommittee on Security and Defence and a member of the Special Committee on Combating Cancer. more
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends of Nature
Thank you for your letter in which you list many important points for a modern Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
A few weeks ago, the European Council and the European Parliament agreed on a reform of the CAP. It involves 387 billion euros earmarked to support agriculture until 2027. There are some positive aspects to the reform, such as the fact that direct payments to farmers will in future be linked more to environmental requirements. However, this only accounts for 25 percent of the direct payments; the bulk of the payments will still be distributed on the basis of the area of the farm. As a result, a large part of the money flows to industrial farms - and thus finances monocultures, factory farming and the massive use of antibiotics and pesticides. Small and medium-sized farms that really want to work sustainably are unfairly disadvantaged.
None of the good goals of the "European Green Deal", such as significantly less pesticide and fertiliser use, has been made binding in the new Common Agricultural Policy. As a result, the European Green Deal is in danger of losing a large part of its impact, and the urgently needed agricultural turnaround will not happen. In order to stop the extinction of species and the climate crisis, the compromise reached is therefore far too vague.
As a member of the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), I will not stop fighting for a fair, sustainable CAP! It must be ensured that the farm-to-fork and biodiversity strategies become a binding part of European agricultural policy. Subsidies must no longer be allocated across the board according to area, but must support binding, Europe-wide standards for climate protection, the protection of biodiversity, for more animal welfare and pesticide-free agriculture. We must put small and medium-sized farms at the centre - and not throw tax money at wealthy landowners who do nothing or hardly anything to protect the environment.
That is why I welcome the demand in your letter to secure farmers' livelihoods in the long term. Contrary to what some lobby groups for industrial agriculture say, environmentalists and many farmers do not have opposing interests, but fight together for the same goals. With ruined soils, contaminated groundwater and a nature without insects, agriculture is no longer possible. That is why we are in the same boat. The European Citizens' Initiative "Save Bees and Farmers", which I very much support, also explicitly stands up for the rights of farmers. Farmers must be supported in the necessary transition to agroecology. Small-scale, diverse and sustainable agricultural structures should be supported, organic farming expanded and research into pesticide- and GMO-free cultivation promoted.
Very interesting is your demand for an animal premium with which special forms of husbandry are to be financially rewarded. However, it would also be important that consumers are informed about the conditions under which the animals whose meat they buy were kept. To this end, I propose a uniform and binding EU meat label that also contains pictures of the conditions under which animals are kept and information on the use of antibiotics and genetically modified feed and pesticides. The seal can be found on my website (manuela-ripa.eu) if you are interested.
I welcome your proposals on soil diversity, with particular attention to building humus. Soil protection needs our full attention. I am the shadow rapporteur on European soil protection for my group, the Greens/EFA, in the Environment Committee.
Healthy soils are, in the truest sense of the word, the basis of our ecosystems, our food, a stable climate and, in short, the basis of our existence. Therefore, healthy soils are central to achieving the goals of the European Green Deal and protecting climate and biodiversity. However, around 70% of soils in the EU are in poor condition.
Through my work in this field, I was able to push through important amendments for sustainable soil management in the resolution on soil protection adopted by the European Parliament in April. Above all, we call for an EU legislative framework for soil protection, which does not yet exist. Among other things, we have included the recommendation to develop new green, forest and agroforestry areas in order to counteract the rapid soil sealing in European cities. There is also a call for prioritising brownfields over green spaces, an end to soil degradation by 2030 and a halt to net soil consumption well before 2050, while improving public participation and consultation when it comes to soil use.
I will continue to fight with all my might for this important issue, and I would be very happy to count on the support of the Nature Fund in this.