EU Parliament signs death sentence for small farms and nature, Greenpeace
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EU Parliament signs death sentence for small farms and nature, Greenpeace

Brussels, 20 October 2020 – A vote on the EU’s common agricultural policy by the European Parliament plenary session is a signature on the death sentence of European farming, said Greenpeace. MEPs failed to reform the policy, which will shape farming in the block for the next seven years, in any way that would measure up to the climate and ecological crises.

The European Parliament adopted a deal agreed between the EPP, Renew and S&D groups, rejecting proposals by the Parliament’s environment committee to cut subsidies for factory farming of animals or to substantially raise the share of funding for environmental measures.

Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “MEPs have signed a death sentence for nature, climate and small farms, which will keep disappearing at an alarming rate. For over 60 years, European farm policy has been blind to farming’s impact on nature, rewarding farmers for producing more or expanding their farms. The EU Parliament is wilfully continuing that destruction while scientists warn that farming must change to tackle the climate crisis and protect nature. This could turn out to be a death sentence for the aims of the European Green Deal too.”

There was so much dissatisfaction among MEPs with the plans for the common agricultural policy negotiated in the Parliament that 166 of them, many going against their own party leadership, voted to scrap the whole CAP proposal and ask the Commission to go back to the drawing board. The EU’s agriculture commissioner also said that the deal struck in the Parliament was incompatible with the European Green Deal.

Agriculture ministers meeting in Luxembourg are also expected to water down the basic requirements, proposed by the European Commission, that farmers receiving CAP money are meant to meet, by reducing protection of peatlands and cutting the amount of land farmers need to leave aside for nature.

Three-way negotiations between the European Commission, European Parliament and national governments are expected to start soon under the German presidency of the European Council, and to be concluded early in 2021.


Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 (0)477 777 034,

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 19 11,

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