The European Commission has decided to postpone two important parts of the Green Deal by at least one year. The expansion of organic farming and farm-to-table food security will not come into effect until 2022 at the earliest.
First, Commissioners Frans Timmermans (Green Deal), Stella Kyriakides (Food Safety) and Janus Wojciechowski (Agriculture) will conduct a EU-wide public consultation on this.
With the delay, the European Commission is responding to requests from several EU countries, MEPs and agricultural organizations. The EU countries point out that no decision has yet been taken on the multi-annual budget, and - therefore - also not on the GD budget, and on the AGRI financing.
MEPs and agricultural organizations especially emphasize that the relationship between the GD plans and the common agricultural policy is still insufficiently worked out.
The European Commission has now launched a public consultation on its future action plan for organic farming. This sector will have to play an important role in the ambition of the European Green Deal and the B2B and Biodiversity strategies. The public consultation aims to collect feedback on the draft plan from citizens, national authorities and relevant stakeholders. The questionnaire will be online for 12 weeks, until November 27.
It is not yet clear whether this will postpone the entire Green Deal plan for a year (from 2021 to 2022), or just those two parts. Given the unapproved budgets, the ongoing negotiations on a new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the extensive parliamentary debate that will be required, a full GD delay is very likely. This will probably become apparent next month, when the European political groups and MEP committees meet again in Brussels and Strasbourg after the summer recess.
The postponement was originally requested by Member States, the European Parliament, third countries and other stakeholders due to the complexity and importance of the legislation under preparation. Due to the coronavirus crisis, work on secondary legislation has been delayed. The delay leaves sufficient time for the necessary extensive consultations and legislative scrutiny, it is now said.
EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said: “The farm-to-table and biodiversity strategies set ambitious goals for the agricultural sector to ensure it is ready for the Green Deal. Organic farming will be an important ally in that transition. The Commission will support the organic sector in achieving the target of 25% agricultural land in organic farming by 2030. The future organic farming action plan to be drawn up will be an important tool in this respect ”.