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The future of CAP and LIFE: nature versus agriculture

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The European Commission has launched new proposals on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and LIFE. Although LIFE’s budget will be increased with 60%, which naturally we recognise and welcome, we regret a missed chance to assign 1% of the overall EU budget to LIFE, instead of the current 0.4%. Existing fears reflect the inability to address and overcome current and future climate change and conservation challenges.

Regarding the CAP proposal, it does not seem to be fit for helping farmers transition to a more sustainable way of farming. Where the proposal should focus on farmers and conservation and restoration, it does little to discourage intensive farming and it lacks incentives for farmers attempting to contribute to meeting environmental objectives. A feature it does propose is more flexibility for Member States. However, with higher responsibilities but a lack of adequate monitoring tools and incentive schemes, there is a realistic risk of an even further increase in agricultural intensification.

Please find a link to the proposals and their annexes here.