Dear Agriculture and Rural Development,
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:
Several issues affect our future wellbeing. (Eg; drought, flooding, erosion, pollution of drinking water and environment, desertification and more) It has been said, that a number of these issues are related to soil organic matter. The level of soil organic matter in the soils of the EU might be raised by simply changing the conditions for receiving agriculture subsidies. Do the EU have plans in this direction?
Ares(2018)1452784 - Access to documents request - New goals for higher
levels of soil organic matter?
Sent by ve_agri.c.1 (AGRI) <[email address]>. All responses have to
be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_agri.c.1 (AGRI) <[email address]>. Toutes les réponses
doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.
Dear Mr Jørgensen,
We refer to your email dated 02/03/2018 in which you make a request for
access to documents. DG AGRI understands from your email that you are
interested in having information on the EU action concerning soil organic
matter. Therefore, your request has not been treated as a request for
access to documents under Regulation (EC) N° 1049/2001.
The sustainable management of natural resources, including soil, which is
a vital resource for agriculture, is one of the main objectives of the
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The CAP offers several instruments relevant to soil protection:
- Cross-compliance rules require farmers to observe some
standards for good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC) of the
land that include requirements related to soil (e.g. minimum soil cover,
maintenance of soil organic matter and preventing erosion). Member States
are required to further define those standards concerning soil protection
(EU Regulation 1306/2013 – OJ L347 20.12.2013, page 549).
- Greening practices (EU Regulation 1307/2013 – OJ L347
20.12.2013, page 608) also have specific objectives dedicated to soil
conservation, such as crop diversification or maintenance of permanent
grassland. Some options for Ecological Focus Areas can also be beneficial
for soils, such as fallow land, terraces, field margins, agro-forestry,
catch crops, green cover and nitrogen-fixing crops.
- Preventing soil erosion and improving soil management are one
of the sub-priorities of the Rural Development Regulation (Article 5 of
the EU Regulation 1305/2013 – OJ L347 - 20.12.2013, page 487). In this
context, Member States may grant support to farmers for the implementation
of agri-environment-climate commitments which involve environmentally
beneficial farming practices and entail higher effort than that required
by mandatory rules. This could include for example input reduction and
adequate and timely soil analysis, if not legal obligations, or specific
The Communication on the Future of Food and Farming (COM(2017)713 of
29/11/2017) proposes to increase the environmental ambition of the CAP,
which should translate into an improvement of soil organic matter.
If you need further information, please contact the Europe Direct Contact
Centre (EDCC) https://europa.eu/european-union/contact....
DG Agriculture and Rural Development
Unit AGRI.C.1 – Policy perspectives