New figures uncover the hidden truth behind ‘green’ Rural Development funding

Analysis  carried out by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and BirdLife Europe has revealed a one billion euro  fall in the actual amount of funding for Rural Development measures meant to benefit the environment on farmland. This comes despite a pledge from the EU that the whole Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is greener than ever.

As well as showing a reduction compared with the previous funding period, the findings also highlight that the environmental quality of some measures is very poor and in several of the analysed cases is not properly targeted.

Rural Development Policy is widely seen as the most positive side of the CAP as it has the best potential to deliver environmental benefits on farmland by offering Member States the possibility to target their programmes to specific environmental needs. However, the analysis shows that this potential has been mostly disregarded.

This is particularly concerning given the dire state of Europe’s environment: once-common farmland birds have decreased by 53% since 1980 (4); and the European Environment Agency reports that over 80% of grasslands are in an unfavourable condition.

Full analysis factsheets via the following link: