The CAP's green architecture on the table of EU Agricultural Ministers

On 15 April the Council for Agriculture and Fisheries’ discussed the Green Architecture of the CAP. This was the first time that Agriculture Ministers had a public debate focussing on the environmental provisions of the future CAP.

The Romanian Presidency had prepared guiding questions on enhanced conditionality setting the minimum environmental requirements for basic CAP payments, on the conditions for the newly proposed Eco-schemes, and on the design of agri-environmental measures under the second pillar and their relation to areas of natural constraint.

Member States have generally welcomed the Commission’s proposal, although there were several calls for more budget to match the proposal’s ambition. Some warned not to take important decisions on the CAP before agreeing on the Multiannual Financial Framework (that sets the EU’s budget). On Eco-schemes the positions varied. Some Member States asked to make them voluntary, although others urged for them to remain mandatory, be excluded from capping and even have a minimum budget. Several Ministers also asked to keep areas of natural constraint under the Agri-environment budget, like it is the case now.

Ahead of this meeting, IFOAM EU sent an open letter to national ministries and experts. In the letter we put forward answers to the three Green Architecture questions that the Romanian Presidency prepared. The organic moment will continue to engage the Council of ministers on the revision of the CAP.

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