EU risks a race to the bottom in European farming environmental standards, Greenpeace

Brussels – The European Court of Auditors, the EU’s financial watchdog, has poked holes in the European Commission’s claims that it is developing a more environmentally friendly farming policy, in a report released today.

The report found that the Commission’s proposed reform of EU farm policy would not increase protection for the climate or environment.

The Court of Auditors criticised the Commission’s plan to continue subsidising farmers based on the size of the farm. It also expressed serious concerns about the inadequacy of environmental standards to receive farm subsidies, and a lack of monitoring or control mechanisms to ensure that farms meet the required standards.

Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “The Court of Auditors has seen straight through Hogan’s green spin on farming policy. The Commission wants to continue to bankroll farms based purely on their size, regardless of the environmental impact. EU payments should reward farmers who preserve the air, soil, water, climate and wildlife we all depend on, not bankroll factory farms and wealthy landowners. Without strong, common environmental criteria for this funding, the EU risks paying for a race to the bottom in European farming.”

The European Parliament’s agriculture and environment committees will begin discussing their proposed amendments to the Commission’s draft plan in the coming weeks and are expected to vote on them in February 2019. Greenpeace is calling on the European Parliament to heed the warnings laid out by the Court of Auditors, and to make sure that European farming policy rewards farmers who protect public health and the environment.

Contacts:

Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 477 777034, marco.contiero@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 2 274 1911, pressdesk.eu@greenpeace.org

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.