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Leak reveals latest CAP ‘greenwash’ proposals



New leaked documents give the clearest picture yet of the Commissions plans for the Common Agricultural Policy from 2014.  

The RSPB has expressed disappointment at a continued lack of support for agri environment stewardship but has welcomed proposals for 7 per cent of arable land to be managed for wildlife.

The proposals to increase the amount of land farmed for wildlife are part of the Commissions attempts at greening direct payments to farmers.

This latest leak comes after 13,000 members of the public contacted EU Commissioners to express their concerns about CAP reform as part of an RSPB campaign. 11,000 people from the UK and 2,000 from other European countries joined forces to call on the Commission to ensure the new CAP supports farmers in reversing farmland wildlife declines. 

A recent study showed European farmland bird populations are at their lowest levels since records began. 

Gareth Morgan, RSPB head of countryside conservation, said: These proposals fail to deliver on the promise to justify the CAP budget at a time of great pressure on resources. They also fail to give a clear signal to Europes farmers about their long term role.

This latest leak reveal that under the new CAP more farmland will be managed with the environment  in mind which will help to ensure our farmed landscape can continue to provide services like healthy soils, clean water and the insects that pollinate our crops.    

However threatened farmland bird species like stone curlew and cirl bunting rely on targeted measures put in place by farmers with the support of CAP money and that funding is still set to fall under these proposals. 

Greening the direct payment (Pillar 1) element of the CAP is welcome, but if it comes at the expense of agri environment (Pillar II) funding then that will be a real own goal for the Commission. 

We have been working hard campaigning on this issue and our supporters have really stepped up to make their voices heard. An amazing 11,000 people in the UK, and a further 2,000 across Europe, have contacted European commissioners calling on them to make these essential reforms really work for the environment. 

Europe spends billions of pounds of taxpayers money supporting farming through the CAP and those taxpayers want reassurances that it is going to be spent responsibly.  Instead, the Commission offers us greenwash a few measures that might do some good, but not the fundamental reform that is needed.

  1. 1.The RSPB, as part of BirdLife International, has recently produced proposals for CAP reform that will really deliver benefits for wildlife and is calling on the European Commission to act now while there is still time to amend the proposals. These are available to view at:

 For more information contact:

 Nik Shelton, RSPB media officer       01767 693554/07739921464

 The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing – help us keep it that way. Click here to join today

‘The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654


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