EU civil society to von der Leyen: No further derogations from the environmental obligations of the CAP

Green Deal is to preserve a sustainable future for the next generations and farmers

In a joint open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, more than 100 civil society organisations today called for the continuation of the Green Deal, which they described as "arguably the most important European milestone project of this century". Demands for a further suspension of environmental requirements in the Common Agricultural Policy, (CAP) on the other hand, should be rejected, said the signatories, which include organisations from the fields of nature conservation, science, medicine, development cooperation, workers' and consumer protection, as well as farmers' associations and church organisations.

At odds to core Christian values

The signatories point out that the demands for further suspensions of the environmental measures of the CAP (set-aside, crop rotation, no pesticides, etc.) with the war in Ukraine as a false pretext, is at odds with a broad scientific consensus about the vital importance of stopping ecosystem collapse for future food production and farmers. Moreover, the current political demands to stop essential parts of the Green Deal as the legal proposals to restore nature (NRL) and reduce pesticides (SUR), are in stark contradiction with core Christian-democratic values as laid down in the manifesto of the European People's Party The Future of Christian Democracy. There it says among others that the ecological crisis "threatens what makes our world habitable", which is why we "cannot continue [...] as we have done in the past" but must strive to "leave a world where life remains".

Mistake of historic proportions

The signatories stress that securing a sustainable future for Europe requires a Common Agricultural Policy that is consistent with the objectives of the Farm-to-Fork and Biodiversity Strategies of the Green Deal, and that combines ecological policies with fair socio-economic prospects for farmers. In this endeavour, the undersigned organisations pledge their full support to the Commission President and stress that giving in to the short-sighted demands of agrochemical  lobbyists and their political allies would be "a mistake of historic proportions"


A fact-check by environmental and farming organisations has exposed how unsound the arguments are that are being used mainly by conservative politicians to push through the suspension of key CAP environmental requirements (crop rotation, provision of land for biodiversity, no pesticides) for the years 2022 and 2023. The suspension of CAP environmental requirements has made no discernible contribution to food security. But it has been to the detriment of the environment and the sustainability of agriculture, as measures to protect pollinating insects and increase soil fertility have been discontinued. With their Open Letter, the more than 100 civil society organisations strongly oppose a further extension of these misguided measures, as already demanded by the EPP until 2025 and beyond.


Contact: Helmut Burtscher-Schaden, helmut [at], +43 699 14200034


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