EU civil society urges Von der Leyen: Green Deal must secure a sustainable future for next generations, biodiversity and farmers

More than 100 environmental, scientific and social organisations, as well as farmers, trade unions and church groups call for an end to EU derogations that water down CAP environmental measures. They also urge to keep the Farm-to-Fork ambitions of the Green Deal alive. 

A broad coalition of civil society groups sent an urgent letter today to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, urging her to continue defending the environmental and agricultural elements of the Green Deal, which they describe as "arguably the most important European milestone project of this century". 116 organisations from environmental, scientific, social, development cooperation and agricultural spheres as well as christian organisations have co-signed the open letter. Demands for a further suspension of environmental requirements in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), as put forward by some agriculture ministers and lobby organisations of the agricultural industry, should be rejected, according to the signatories.

At odds with science and core Christian values

The signatories highlight that the demands for further suspension of the environmental measures in the CAP (set-aside, crop rotation, no pesticides, etc.) using the war in Ukraine as a false pretext, is at odds with a broad scientific consensus about the vital importance of stopping ecosystem collapse for future food production and farmers. Moreover, the current political demands to stop essential parts of the Green Deal such as the legal proposals to restore nature (NRL) and reduce pesticides (SUR), are in stark contradiction with core Christian-democratic values as affirmed in the manifesto of the European People's Party, The Future of Christian Democracy. The manifesto clearly says that the ecological crisis "threatens what makes our world habitable", which is why we "cannot continue [...] as we have done in the past" but must strive to "leave a world where life remains".

Mistake of historic proportions

The signatories stress that securing a sustainable future for Europe requires a Common Agricultural Policy that is consistent with the objectives of the Farm-to-Fork and Biodiversity Strategies of the Green Deal, and which combines ecological policies with fair socio-economic prospects for farmers. The undersigned organisations assure the Commission President of their full support in defending the Green Deal and stress that giving in to the short-sighted demands of agrochemical lobbyists and their political allies would be "a mistake of historic proportions". It does not make sense from either a climate change perspective, a biodiversity perspective nor for vibrant rural communities and prosperous family farms, to keep investing billions of taxpayers money into producing feed for meat production on an agro-industrial scale.


Background notes to the editor:

  • A fact-check by environmental and farming organisations has exposed how  unsound the arguments are that are being used mainly by conservative politicians to push through the suspension of key CAP environmental requirements (crop rotation, provision of land for biodiversity, no pesticides) for the years 2022 and 2023. The suspension of CAP environmental requirements has made no discernible contribution to food security. But it has been to the detriment of the environment and the sustainability of agriculture, as measures to protect pollinating insects and increase soil fertility have been discontinued. With their Open Letter, the over 100 civil society organisations strongly oppose a further extension of these misguided measures, as already demanded by the EPP until 2025 and beyond.

This article continues after the banner

Subscribe to our newsletter