The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy has Undergone New Reforms that are More Equitable and Environmentally Friendly

The European Union’s member states agreed on a deal to enhance the Common Agricultural Policy on June 25th (CAP). According to the European Commission, the CAP was intended to enable EU farmers to earn a sustainable living while also helping to combat climate change through environmentally sustainable farming. The European Union (EU) funds these programmes directly through the Europe Agriculture Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the Europe Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (EAFRD). According to a news statement from the European Commission, the new measures and recent revisions ensure that CAP funds are distributed properly, ensuring that small farms, family farms, and young farmers all have appropriate cash. The EU and its farmers can better offset climate change by diversifying and distributing funding more equitably. 

Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans after the agreement was reached said “In the next years, [the EU] will protect wet- and peatlands, dedicate more farmland to biodiversity, boost organic farming, open up new income sources for farmers via carbon farming, and begin to redress inequalities in the distribution of income support”.  

Essentially, the purpose is to fund sustainable farming: farmers can only use the most up-to-date sustainable ways if they have access to the most up-to-date technology and environmental knowledge. However, in rural regions, having this kind of access is not always possible, thus diversifying EU funds to account for farmers and their livelihoods is critical for climate change mitigation. 

This is a significant step in combating climate change and promoting social fairness. Farmers, their livelihoods, and their communities must be supported in order to achieve a more equitable distribution of wealth and consequently social justice. Furthermore, the fact that these reforms include an emphasis on sustainability and ecologically friendly practices, as well as new technology and information, bodes well for the EU’s future in terms of climate change. 

This is particularly encouraging since it can serve as a model for other wealthy nations. Poorer countries may not be able to focus on sustainable practices all of the time, but affluent countries have no excuse when it comes to combating climate change. Furthermore, this approach benefits the EU’s progressiveness. Social and environmental justice are intertwined, and the latest CAP modifications will aid in this endeavor. Hopefully, the new CAP will not abandon its commitment to social justice in this area, but will instead improve. Social reforms must be recognized and embraced if the EU is to remain dedicated to environmental sustainability. 

According to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the Common Agricultural Policy was designed to enhance agricultural production by establishing guaranteed markets following World War II as part of the Treaty of Rome. Increased production, however, unavoidably resulted in environmental difficulties and degradation. As a result, the CAP has undergone a series of adjustments to ensure that it is both ecologically friendly and economically useful to farmers and the EU, or as good as it can be in both areas. The attention paid to smaller farmers in this most recent CAP change is particularly noteworthy. 

The most important thing to do in the immediate future is to clearly and completely implement the new CAP. While this is self-evident, the EU must honour its commitment to these reforms. In the long run, the EU should keep reforming the CAP to address the latest environmental challenges and mitigation strategies. 

As time goes on, the EU should pursue further possibilities to make the CAP more socially just. In contrast to smaller farms, larger companies are generally motivated by financial gain rather than environmental concern. In theory, paying more attention to smaller farms will result in better environmental circumstances over time. The most recent CAP reforms are a significant step forward, therefore the prospect of the EU continuing in this path is encouraging. 

Photo Credit: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/05/europe-must-act-on-intensive-farming-to-save-wildlife-scientists-say