At a hearing held at the European Parliament on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Guillaume Cros (FR/PES), Vice-President of the Occitan Region and European Committee of the Regions rapporteur on the CAP, pointed out that according to the Court of Auditors report of 20 November, environmental aspects are not given sufficient weight among the many challenges to the future CAP that have been identified. The Committee of the Regions' recommendations also match the aims of the Green Deal announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The CoR rapporteur on Reform of the CAP emphasised that "we must radically change the way the next Common Agricultural Policy is implemented in order to meet the social, environmental and climate-related challenges and also build a Green Deal commensurate with the current challenges, in the interests of a fair, sustainable and solidarity-based CAP".
The CoR is calling for a minimum of 30% of first pillar funds to go to eco-schemes and proposes quantified, measurable and results-oriented European objectives by 2027 for the national Strategic Plans, as follows:
- a 30% reduction compared with 2017 in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in the Member State;
- a doubling compared with 2017 of the land area used for organic farming in the Member State, or at least 30% of the utilised agricultural area of the Member State;
- a minimum 30% reduction compared with 2017 in the use of pesticides in the Member State;
- lastly, compliance with the Nitrates Directive for 100% of surface water and groundwater, without exemptions.
The CoR also calls for a gradual and planned end to cage rearing throughout the European Union. Guillaume Cros stressed that "we (the CoR) support the proposal by the European Parliament's ENVI Committee aimed at establishing farm livestock density limits and limiting payments to farms that exceed such limits".
He also highlighted that the key role played by Europe's regions in managing and implementing the CAP must be preserved and stepped up. The legislative proposal on the future CAP, in its current form, actually has the effect of marginalising, or even jeopardising, the role and autonomy of Europe's regions in managing the CAP, simply allotting them the task of implementing measures laid down at national level.
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