A CAP that Delivers for Biodiversity?

The vast majority of expenditure under the CAP continues to be directed to income support and is not explicitly targeted at responding to biodiversity, or other pressing environmental objectives. According to a new IEEP study for the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) the distribution and allocation of CAP funding, and the uses to which it is put to, should be adjusted in order to help meet the EU’s international commitment to halt the loss of biodiversity.

In particular:

  • – funding under the CAP should be distributed in favour of Pillar 2 rather than Pillar 1;
  • – the way in which the CAP budget is decided and allocated between the Member States should be adjusted to better reflect the costs of responding to biodiversity priorities; and
  • – the allocation of funds within the Member States to Pillar 2 measures that can deliver positive environmental outcomes, and the way in which these measures are implemented, needs to be improved.

The report examines the balance of expenditure on the two Pillars for the 2007-2013 period and breaks down the total amount of Pillar 2 expenditure by Member State and by measure. Historic Pillar 1 direct payment expenditure and prospective allocations are also examined spatially (see separate post).

The report aims to help inform a debate about the extent to which European expenditure on agriculture contributes to biodiversity conservation efforts. Providing an analysis of this kind helps to underpin an analysis, within the context of the ongoing review of the EU budget, of the future rationale for, structure of and funding needs of European agricultural policy post-2013.

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