CAP reform: a half-hearted effort?
After protracted negotiations, the EU has agreed on a reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that moves towards bringing the allocation of subsidies more in line with social and environmental criteria. Direct subsidies, which make up the largest part of the budget, are to be at least partly tied to certain conditions. Europe's press is unimpressed.
The system remains unchanged
European agricultural policy is basically sticking by its old principles, Deutschlandfunk criticises:
“A large part of the European Union's largest budget item is used to pour money over the land without making any demands in return - to the advantage of multinational agricultural corporations but of organic farming and sustainable agriculture. ... But what's even more regrettable is that this agricultural compromise has hardly any links to the European Green Deal. It's unclear how the required reduction in the use of pesticides and fertilisers is supposed to be implemented. One can't avoid the suspicion that while industry is having to cope with a mammoth transformation, agriculture is being let off the hook. This is unfair and disastrous from the point of view of climate policy.”
Cultural landscape - tell me another one!
Die Presse also has plenty to criticise:
“The financing of climate and environmental measures, which eats up more than a quarter of the EU's huge agricultural budget, is nothing but a political sham - and a rather expensive one at that: the 186,000 million that have been squandered to no purpose correspond to 410 euros per EU inhabitant. ... A sensible subsidy policy would define concrete goals and the best ways to achieve them, and then provide targeted funding rather than rewarding the mere possession of land or its use through direct payments. All under the guise of preserving a 'cultural landscape', which in its current form is quite obviously destroying biodiversity.”
Put an end to the bureaucratic planned economy!
Jyllands-Posten calls for a completely new approach:
“State aid for agriculture should be abolished. But this requires global unity, so that distortions of competition can be prevented. The reform proves once again how absurd agricultural subsidies are, and the claims that they help protect the climate don't make things any better. Agriculture accounts for just 1.3 per cent of Europe's economic output, but it takes up a third of the EU budget. A true reform would put an end to these disproportions and free agriculture from the bureaucratic planned economy.”