Debate: How close should European agro subsidies be linked to the environmental requirements?

In the current programming period, one of the major objectives of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy is to support activities that limit harmful impacts on the environment and the fight against climate change. Thus, 30% of direct payments are “green” and some of the funds under the rural development program are dedicated to practices such as soil protection from erosion, preservation of biodiversity, limitation of harmful impacts on water, etc. And while the proportion of farmers who support the view that farming activities have to bring more environmental benefits is on the rise, the differences between them and the citizens are still serious.

In recent years, there have been two different issues in the public debate on this topic: on the one hand, farmers who believe that agricultural subsidies should remain a policy supporting farmers’ incomes as this will ensure a viable production of food and rural development. On the other hand, there is also the view that support for agriculture must be based on the public goods it produces, including in the field of ecology.

Should a larger share of European funding be linked to green practices and requirements in the new programming period after 2020 is the topic of the online debate organized by Economedia . See the online debate here in detail.