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Greening Common Agricultural Policy

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Dear Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI),

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

I was reading on the update for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that will come into force from 2014 and will remain in place until 2020 and I noticed an interesting area about greening. Has this been part of earlier CAP programs such as the program for 2007-2013 or earlier?

Yours faithfully,

Simon Turner

Generaldirektion Landwirtschaft und ländliche Entwicklung

Dear Mr Turner,

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Yours sincerely,

European Commission
DG Agriculture and Rural Development
Document Management Centre

B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
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Generaldirektion Landwirtschaft und ländliche Entwicklung

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Dear Mr Turner,
Thank you very much for your e-mail of November 12th, 2013.
The Common Agricultural Policy has evolved over time. Following successive
reforms, the CAP has been increasingly adapted for integrating
environmental concerns and to serve sustainability purposes better. The
CAP ensures that its rules are compatible with environmental requirements
and that CAP measures promote the development of agricultural practices
preserving the environment and safeguarding the countryside.
The new CAP constitutes a major change in the CAP reform path because it
places the joint provision of public and private goods at the core of
policy concerns. Taking into account the need to reward farmers for the
services they deliver to the wider public, the key policy instruments as
well as a substantial part of the budget of the CAP are reoriented to
address the provision of public goods.
With the new CAP coming into force, the "greening" of EU agriculture will
be achieved through a multi-pronged approach that combines existing
measures with a new policy element:
1.      The greening of the CAP includes, first of all, enhanced
cross-compliance. This is a mechanism that already exists and which
ensures compliance with environmental laws via sanctioning the non-respect
for these laws by farmers through a reduction in support payments from the
CAP (cross-compliance).
2.      The novel element of the reform is the introduction of a green
payment into the system of direct payments that rewards farmers for their
contribution towards environmentally sound farming practices as part of
their everyday activities. Farmers have to respect three obligatory
practices that are beneficial for the environment and climate change in
order to receive the green direct payment, which accounts for 30% of the
total direct payment envelope. As the green direct payment is compulsory
it has the advantage of introducing environmentally beneficial practices
on most of the utilised agricultural area. The three greening obligations
are: Crop diversification with a view to breaking up monocultures on
arable land and enhancing soil quality, maintenance of permanent grassland
in order to safeguard its potential as a carbon sink, and the introduction
of ecological focus areas on at least 5% of the arable area of the holding
in order to provide refuges for biodiversity.
3.      The second pillar of the CAP, the multi-annual rural development
programmes, will continue to play a pivotal role in achieving the CAPs
environmental objectives and in combating climate change. The CAP always
encouraged the uptake of voluntary rural development measures in the
second pillar of the CAP that promote environmentally sustainable farming
practices, like agri-environment schemes. The increased focus of the
second pillar on the sustainability objective is clearly visible by the
fact that at least 30% of the EAFRD-budget of each Rural Development
programme must be reserved for voluntary measures that are beneficial for
the environment and climate change. Support from the expanded Farm
Advisory System and applied research and innovation will accompany the
policy tools and should contribute to more effective implementation of the
new greening architecture of the CAP.
We hope this information is useful and clarifies your question.
Yours sincerely,
European Commission
DG Agriculture and Rural Development

L130 07/149 A
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
[1][email address]

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