The transition to a sustainable common agricultural policy (CAP) is slowly taking shape, but the opposing forces are constantly in motion. This says Agricultural Attaché Quinn Van Jencken. “However, the Brussels oil tanker is moving.”
Van Ginneken has been active in the agricultural team of the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the European Union since 2017. This summer he will be appointed to the Agricultural Council in Budapest. In Agro Messages Abroad, he looks back at four turbulent years.
Adaptation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been high on his agenda throughout. He consulted with officials from the European Commission, had lunch with representatives of interest groups such as LTO Netherlands, and presented his ideas to members of the European Parliament.
The intention of the New Common Agricultural Policy is to make greater use of the agricultural budget to support agricultural management that takes into account, for example, biodiversity, climate and soil quality. “There are member states that are stepping on the brakes, and only see the CAP as a social tool to keep farmers. They don’t really see money in exchange for so-called environmental schemes. The Netherlands is heading towards sustainability, we are in the forefront.”
The UK was also in favor of sustainability, but then came Brexit. “The UK has been one of our companions when it comes to making the CAP more sustainable. Relations are changing, we have to form new alliances. In Brussels, it’s always about looking for majorities for your point of view. This is and will be a huge challenge.”
However, successes have already been achieved. “It is very likely that a fixed percentage of the CAP budget will be spent on environmental schemes. This proportion will be somewhere between 20% and 30% in the final decision-making process between the European Commission, the Council of Agriculture Ministers and the European Parliament. Whether it will exceed 20% as well. The Netherlands still wants the question, but it is definitely a step forward. I give a profit warning, a lot can still happen in the coming months. In the European Union nothing is certain until the signatures are signed. ”
Source: Agro Messages Abroad