New report shows €60bn spent on unsustainable farming in the EU
The EU must urgently reform damaging farming subsidies to stand a chance of saving nature, preventing the worst effects of climate change and reviving small farms and our rural regions, according to a new report released today.
This call comes two weeks before the EU elections as one of the main lessons of the 'Agriculture Atlas 2019', a unique publication of facts and figures on the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) published by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Friends of the Earth Europe and BirdLife Europe today.
The Agriculture Atlas 2019 shows that:
(*) 70% of all subsidies are still granted without the fulfilment of goals including conserving the environment, keeping animals in appropriate conditions, protecting water, birds and insects, and maintaining life and livelihoods in rural areas
(*) On average more than 30% of the funds go to less than 2% of beneficiaries
(*) 3% of the EU's biggest farms use more than half of the land for agriculture in the European Union()The number of farms declined by 25% between 2003 and 2013
(*) The number of farmland birds has declined by 57% since 1980
All three organisations demand that, in order to justify continued use of taxpayers' money on the CAP, the financial budget - currently of nearly 60 Billion Euros per year - is shaped in a way which re-gains people´s trust in the European project. Current proposals of the EU Commission and the opinion of the outgoing Agricultural Committee in the European Parliament for the new CAP after 2020 disregard the environmental and social potential of the CAP by far.
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