CAP greening evaluation published
A new evaluation of the Common Agriculture Policy’s Pillar 1 greening measures for the European Commission, led by IEEP on behalf of Alliance Environnement, found that overall the greening measures have led to only small changes in management practices, except in a few specific areas. As a result, their environmental and climate impacts have been limited and locally specific. In addition, the measures have had a negligible effect on production or economic viability of farms and the additional administrative costs associated with them have been relatively low.
The evaluation study focuses on the implementation of the greening measures between 2015 and 2017 in the EU28, with a specific focus in 10 Member States (Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK). It examines the drivers influencing Member State and farmers’ implementation choices; the effects of the measures on farming practices, production, the environment and climate; administrative costs and efficiency; coherence with CAP objectives and measures, as well as broader environmental and climate legislation; their relevance in addressing EU, national and regional needs and their EU added value.
Key recommendations to improve the environmental performance of the greening measures are:
- Member States should be required to justify their implementation choices with reference to environmental needs and priorities and report on progress.
- Suitable greening practices for permanent crops should be found.
- The types of Ecological Focus Area (EFA) permitted and their management rules should be reviewed to ensure they are compatible with delivering environmental outcomes.
- All Annex 1 grassland habitats under agricultural use and requiring strict protection under the Birds and Habitats Directives should be designated as Environmentally Sensitive Permanent Grassland (ESPG) and the designation of ESPG outside Natura 2000 sites should be increased.
- Greater synergies between the implementation of the greening measures and the agri-environment-climate measure should be encouraged.
- Advisory services are critical – these should not be limited to the administrative and compliance aspects of greening but focus on their purpose and ways of optimising their environmental and climate effects.
The evaluation study, accompanied by an executive summary (in FR and EN) and a leaflet can be found on the European Commission’s website: https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/evaluation/market-and-income-reports/greening-of-direct-payments_en.
For more information, please contact Kaley Hart.