“Proportional Greening” threatens a greener and fairer CAP
Proposals by farm Ministers from Denmark, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal, led by the Irish Agriculture Minister threaten a greener and fair CAP by calling for greater flexibility in the allocation of greening payments between farmers in Member States at the Agriculture Council on 22 October in Luxembourg. The proposals were part of a paper presented by the delegations to the Council in September which proposes allowing Member States to put in place a more flexible transition period for the levelling of direct payments in each country and calculating greening payments should be done on an individual rather than a regional or national basis, proportional to what each beneficiary receives as their basic payment. At the Council meeting, EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş remained defiant that greening component must represent 30% of direct payments in each member state. In October, the Commissioner also came out strongly against ongoing proposals by mainstream farming organisations represented by COPA-COGECA who are calling for a greening “menu approach” whereby farmers would choose two measures from a menu of six measures, rather than the common package of three compulsory measures outlined in the Commission’s proposals. Meanwhile the Cypriot Presidency has confirmed that a partial political agreement on CAP reform within the Council will be finalised by the end of 2013 ahead of negotiations with the Parliament. The next Agriculture Council will take place on 28-29 November. Many IFOAM EU members are in contact with Ministries in their Member States and the IFOAM EU office in Brussels is continuing to meet with Member State Permanent Representations to the EU, in a joint effort to achieve comprehensive greening of the CAP including the prioritisation of organic farming systems as a pioneering and best practice model for driving sustainability across the agricultural sector.