22 EU Nations Demand Swift Action On Agricultural Red Tape

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News in Brief:
– European nations call on the Commission for urgent clarity and action to ease the agricultural crisis, particularly regarding CAP implementation and environmental standards.
– The Commission intends to propose measures next week, including changes to CAP requirements, amidst concerns raised by NGOs regarding potential rollbacks in environmental ambition.

Twenty-two European countries are urging the Commission to expedite measures addressing the agricultural crisis. In a letter, sent last week and obtained by the press, they emphasised the need for immediate clarification on short- and medium-term simplification measures to pacify disgruntled farmers.

The missive, directed to Executive Vice-President Maros Å efčovič and Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, stresses the urgency of understanding the impending changes and their timelines. With farmers’ expectations running high, the nations seek transparency regarding forthcoming initiatives.

EU Commission’s response

Confirming its intent to present proposals next week, the Commission aims to announce legislative changes and potential initiatives in response to the agricultural turmoil.

The announcement, scheduled for March 15, addresses the contentious issues arising from the revamped Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) implemented in 2023.

The latest version of CAP, with increased authority delegated to member states, has posed challenges for both farmers and administrations. The letter highlights the complexity of managing CAP, leading to discontent among farmers, particularly concerning environmental standards.

Proposed changes and NGOs’ concerns

The Commission, acknowledging the administrative burden, plans to ease monitoring, controls, and environmental requirements. This includes potential alterations to good agricultural and environmental conditions (GAECs), exemptions for small farms, and increased flexibility for national CAP Strategic Plans.

The executive’s intention to enhance contractual powers for farmers in the food supply chain is a point of emphasis in the letter. Spearheaded by French Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau and his Spanish counterpart Luis Planas, the collective call represents all member states except Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Belgium.

Amidst these developments, over 300 NGOs expressed deep concern about potential rollbacks in environmental ambition. They cautioned against using farmers’ protests as a pretext to dilute green architecture in CAP, emphasising the need for addressing social and economic sustainability in the agricultural system.

Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Gift Ohabughiro has a background in English and Literary Studies from Imo State University. She brings a fresh perspective to the world of agriculture writing. When she's not penning compelling content, she's likely lost in the pages of a thrilling mystery or treating herself to the sinful delight of chocolate.

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