Commission clueless on impact of environmental farming exemptions amid further requests
The European Commission is in the process of considering whether to grant further farming exemptions from environmental measures following requests from member states, although it does not yet have a clear idea about the impact of previous derogations on food security.
In efforts to counter the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU previously allowed temporary derogations from certain environmental requirements in the EU’s farming subsidy programme, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in both 2022 and 2023.
The temporary exemptions currently in force allow loosening rules for crop rotation and the use of fallow land – farmland areas set aside for biodiversity.
In order to get additional green funds under the CAP framework started in 2023, farmers must ensure that at least 4% of their arable land exceeding 10 hectares must be dedicated to areas beneficial for biodiversity such as trees or hedges.
Derogations from this biodiversity requirement on farms could be set to continue into 2024, if certain EU countries get their way.
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