Posts Tagged ‘Agri-Environmental Measures’

The Council’s position on the CAP 2020 green ambition: Worse than you thought

2. Oktober 2020

This post was written by Sebastian Lakner and Guy Pe’er (

In the following, first blog-post in a series of three, we evaluate the Council conclusions of early September 3, 2020 against the current CAP (2014-2020), looking into some of the details that were released by the Germany presidency. Especially, some of the most important environmental criteria in the CAP-proposals of 2018 (e.g. GAEC 9 and Eco-schemes) seem to be largely disarmed, coming back to an even weaker version of Greening. The Council-conclusions have already been commented, e.g. by Alan Matthew or on Arc2020, however we will add to the debate by contrasting the Council conclusions with figures from the actual CAP-period. A lot of black smoke seems to hide an attempt to maintain or even expand the “errors” that have led to the failure of Greening and to the large-scale misspending of taxpayers’ money over the current funding period (Scown et al. 2020 in One Earth).

A second post will examine the policy process and its consequences for the CAP in the long run. We will discuss the role of the German presidency in trying to minimize conflicts with farm lobbies through setting a lowest possible denominator, instead of showing leadership in moderating an in-depth, balanced negotiation process.

A third post in the series will focus on solutions, such as a phasing-in-model for Eco-schemes that could resolve some of the problems (e.g. for Eastern Member States) and may aid compromise-finding.

Antique mountain lodge for milk-farmers in Norway

Supporting Greening with Agri-Environmental Measures: Improvement or rather a waste of money?

21. Juni 2016

The concept of Greening of Direct Payments and more specifically the Ecological Focus Area (EFA) are going into their second year of implementation. I will discuss the pragmatic option to additionally support EFA by agri-environmental measures (AEM) in order to improve effectiveness of EFA. The experience in Germany do not deliver strong arguments for this option. The advantage of this option is the application within the existing CAP-framework.


One effective EFA-option: Flouring strip with phacelia in Lindau, South Lower Saxony


Greening and Ecological Focus Area: First Data on Decisions in Germany

7. Oktober 2015

Some weeks ago, we asked on this blog how farmers would implement Greening 2015 and which options they would choose in order to comply with the criterion of the ‘ecological focus area (EFA)’. The main message was that farmers would probably prefer to use the options of catch crops, nitrogen-fixing crops and fallow land, since they provide cost-advantages against the classical biodiversity options such as buffer-strips and landscape elements. This expectation was also based on the fact, that the latter go alongside with legal insecurity. In addition, structural policies and the practise of direct-payments before 2013 lead to a situation, where farmers would rather exclude landscape elements from their registered farm land. Overall, the expectation was that landscape-elements and buffer-strips (as the most effective options to support biodiversity) would hardly be chosen by farmers.

EFA Fallow land in the region of Göttingen

EFA Fallow land in the region of Göttingen