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Business as usual – Juncker snubs environment and protects broken CAP


26 Oct 2016


Agriculture & Food
Climate & Environment

Commission Work Programme ignores businesses and civil society demands[1] for a fitness check of the Common agriculture policy (CAP) and Sustainable development goals (SDGs) are virtually ignored.

Today the European Commission presented its Work Programme for the coming year. The Work Programme proposes 21 key initiatives, as well as a further 18 REFIT proposals to improve the quality of existing EU legislation.

Ariel Brunner, Senior Head of Policy, BirdLife Europe stated: “The choice to shield the EU’s most expensive policy, the CAP, from the REFIT programme flies in the face of the Commission claim to pursue a policy of transparency and effectiveness. This is a slap to citizens and businesses whose representatives in the REFIT Platform Stakeholder group have unanimously asked for a fitness check of CAP.

The choice to ignore the terrible sustainability crises in European farming epitomizes Juncker’s betrayal of the Sustainable Development Goals signed in New York in September 2015.

At a time of major public disenchantment with the EU, the Juncker Commission is self-destructively refusing to reconnect with its citizens and regain legitimacy, instead it’s continuing to pursue the interests of powerful lobbies.”

More than 100 NGOs active in farming, development, environment, climate, animal welfare, food systems and public health, have demanded a review of the European food and farming system, a so called fitness check of the CAP[2]. The CAP, which accounts for almost 40% of the EU Budget, is not equipped to address the fundamental challenges that Europe is facing in the agriculture sector. ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Ariel Brunner, Senior Head of Policy, BirdLife Europe & Central Asia

Mobile: +32 491 90 46 53


[1] REFIT Platform Opinion on the submission by the European Environmental Bureau on Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Common Agricultural Policy

[2] Letter from 114 NGOs to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on CAP Fitness Check

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is a partnership of 48 national conservation organisations and a leader in bird conservation. Our unique local to global approach enables us to deliver high impact and long term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is one of the six regional secretariats that compose BirdLife International. Based in Brussels, it supports the European and Central Asian Partnership and is present in 47 countries including all EU Member States. With more than 4100 staff in Europe, two million members and tens of thousands of skilled volunteers, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, together with its national partners, owns or manages more than 6000 nature sites totalling 320,000 hectares.