Learning the lessons from CAP greening

Given the possibility that the final design of the CAP greening measures and the implementation choices made by Member States may not bring about significant additional environmental benefits, this raises questions about how to increase the environmental added value from greening. Could more be delivered with a revised set of greening measures under Pillar 1? Could more be achieved for the environment if greening measures were implemented under Pillar 2, under a multi-annual, programmed system? Or is it time for a change in the overall architecture of the CAP and what does this mean for future CAP reform?

This report by IEEP for the UK Land Use Policy Group, considers some of the lessons that can be learned from the introduction of green payments into Pillar 1 of the CAP in the 2013 reform. It reviews the original rationale for greening Pillar 1 and the fate of the proposals in the course of the negotiation process. Based on Member States’ implementation choices for greening, it provides an overview of the potential environmental impacts of these measures and highlights some of the challenges of determining their environmental additionality. Finally, it offers some preliminary thoughts on alternative options for greening, with a focus on alternative means of delivering basic environmental management across the farmed countryside in the EU-28. The report looks at ways in which the content of the measures might be revised as well as how and where they are incorporated within the CAP, considering the environmental, administrative and political pros and cons of each option.

The options proposed are intended as initial ideas to stimulate debate. They do not attempt to answer all the detailed questions relating to design and delivery. Rather they signal possible routes for discussion about how to improve the environmental additionality from the current Pillar 1 greening measures, in view of forthcoming discussions on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework and the future of the CAP post 2020.

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