HomeEUCopa-Cosega against return to agriculture in nature restoration law

Copa-Cosega against return to agriculture in nature restoration law

The European agricultural umbrella organization Copa-Cosega does not agree with the agreement on the nature restoration law that was concluded on Thursday by the European Commission, the EU member states and the European Parliament.

According to the agricultural umbrella organization, Spanish chief negotiator César Luena (S&D) has gone beyond his negotiating mandate with the agreement. 

The agreement concluded on Thursday night still includes the controversial Article 9 on agricultural ecosystems in and near natural areasieden. That article was deleted last month by a narrow center-right majority of the European Parliament. At the insistence of the EPP/CDA faction, attempts had been made for months to keep agriculture out of the nature proposal as much as possible. 

Article 9 was included in an even larger form in the original proposal of Environment Commissioner Virginius Sinkevicius, but was subsequently supported in a weakened form by the EU Environment Ministers. In fact, the original Commission proposal had been considerably watered down in recent months, but was revived by Commissioners and ministers on Thursday night.

According to Copa-Cosega, the fact that the Spanish Social Democratic chief negotiator Luena participated in this should mean that all MEPs should now reconsider. This is seen as a veiled call to reject the trialogue agreement at the end of November. The EPP/CDA faction said in a response on Friday that it was 'still studying the text of the agreement'.

The agreement does stipulate that the costs for nature restoration may not be paid from the budget of the common agricultural policy, and that farmers may not be forced to cooperate in nature restoration. For the first ten years, the rules will only apply within Natura2000-gebieden, even if it includes agricultural functions.

To determine whether nature is recovering, three criteria are being developed, two of which the EU countries may use. This concerns butterfly counts, landscape elements and organic carbon.

In the modified version, at the suggestion of EPP Vice-President Esther de Lange, an emergency brake has also been built in in case the food supply could be compromised. The EU countries do not decide on this themselves, but the European Commission.


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