Greening the CAP - Rendezvous in Strasbourg for an EP showdown on 12th March
In an unprecedented move, Janez Potočnik appealed directly to MEPs on the environment committee to reintroduce the text on 12th March in the Strasbourg plenary session of Parliament on cross compliance with environmental legislation covering groundwater, sewage sludge, nitrate pollution, natural habitats and wild birds. The Agriculture committee in Parliament recently decided to weaken farmers’ obligations to comply in particularly with the water and pesticides directives in a move that would significantly undermine the implementation of the environmental directives. Farming plays an important role in the implementation of the EU’s water blueprint and requires the sustainable use of pesticides a key criterion for CAP funding among actions to improve the quality of European rivers. Disappointed by the agriculture committee vote, Potočnik underlined the fact that cross-compliance is merely asking farmers to respect European environmental rules like everyone else. With a Strasbourg plenary vote scheduled for 12th March, NGOs, including WWF, have argued that the agriculture committee’s decision on cross-compliance removes sanctions from farmers who break these long-standing laws.