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What if insects were on the menu in Europe?

03-07-2020

Insects, while commonly consumed elsewhere in the world, have long been off the menu in Europe – but they could soon be creeping their way onto our plates. Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is now gaining serious interest – is it set to take Europe by swarm?

Insects, while commonly consumed elsewhere in the world, have long been off the menu in Europe – but they could soon be creeping their way onto our plates. Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is now gaining serious interest – is it set to take Europe by swarm?

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - July 2020

03-07-2020

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Agroforestry in the European Union

25-06-2020

Agroforestry is a very ancient agricultural practice that is still widely implemented in certain EU countries, and is gaining renewed interest due to its many economic and environmental benefits. It is a dynamic system combining trees, crops and/or livestock on the same area of land in some form of spatial arrangement or temporal sequence. Prominent examples are the dehesa in Spain (oak trees with livestock grazing underneath) and the Fennoscandian area (covering Finland, Norway, and Sweden in their ...

Agroforestry is a very ancient agricultural practice that is still widely implemented in certain EU countries, and is gaining renewed interest due to its many economic and environmental benefits. It is a dynamic system combining trees, crops and/or livestock on the same area of land in some form of spatial arrangement or temporal sequence. Prominent examples are the dehesa in Spain (oak trees with livestock grazing underneath) and the Fennoscandian area (covering Finland, Norway, and Sweden in their entireties, and a part of Russia), where reindeer husbandry is practised. The main types of agroforestry include the silvopastoral and silvoarable systems, forest farming, hedgerows, riparian buffer strips and kitchen gardens. A number of studies have attempted to classify the existing systems, a task made difficult by the number of possible combinations of woody components/crops/livestock and the variety of criteria to consider. A comprehensive European project on agroforestry suggests that it covers a total area of more than 15 million hectares in the EU, or 52 million hectares if reindeer husbandry is included. Agroforestry systems, which are sustainable and multifunctional, provide many environmental benefits. They contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, protect the soil, enhance biodiversity and improve the overall condition of the landscapes. That way, they are also beneficial to the local rural economy, as those improved landscapes offer cultural and recreational opportunities. Moreover, agroforestry farmers can diversify their production, reduce some costs and achieve better productivity. However agroforestry is usually more complex and knowledge-intensive than conventional agriculture and may involve a greater administrative burden. Agroforestry enjoys EU-level recognition and support from the common agricultural policy (CAP). Farmers can receive direct payments per hectare of land under agroforestry, as well as support for the establishment or maintenance of agroforestry systems under the rural development strand of the CAP. Innovation and research in this field may also be supported. The European Parliament has recognised the benefits of agroforestry in several resolutions, and called for more effective support for a range of sustainable production methods, including agroforestry.

'Farm to Fork' strategy: Striving for healthy and sustainable food

17-06-2020

Launched on 20 May 2020, the 'Farm to Fork' strategy put forward the EU’s ambition for making its food system a model of sustainability at all stages of the food value chain. Ahead of the desired engagement of institutions, stakeholders and citizens in a broad debate, the strategy is already high on the agri-food community’s agenda.

Launched on 20 May 2020, the 'Farm to Fork' strategy put forward the EU’s ambition for making its food system a model of sustainability at all stages of the food value chain. Ahead of the desired engagement of institutions, stakeholders and citizens in a broad debate, the strategy is already high on the agri-food community’s agenda.

European Commission follow-up to European Parliament requests 2017 - 2019

02-06-2020

This study seeks to present a comprehensive overview of non-legislative resolutions adopted by Parliament between January 2017 and May 2019 on the basis of own-initiative reports, in the light of the response provided by the Commission and the subsequent follow-up documents and related actions undertaken by the Commission up to 1 January 2020.

This study seeks to present a comprehensive overview of non-legislative resolutions adopted by Parliament between January 2017 and May 2019 on the basis of own-initiative reports, in the light of the response provided by the Commission and the subsequent follow-up documents and related actions undertaken by the Commission up to 1 January 2020.

EU agricultural policy and climate change

19-05-2020

In December 2019, the European Parliament declared a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and across the globe – a recognition of the challenges that the EU faces in this area. The agricultural sector is not only affected by climate change but also contributes significantly to it, according to some assessments. Evidence from a range of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre points to the impacts that climate change ...

In December 2019, the European Parliament declared a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and across the globe – a recognition of the challenges that the EU faces in this area. The agricultural sector is not only affected by climate change but also contributes significantly to it, according to some assessments. Evidence from a range of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre points to the impacts that climate change will have on yields, length of growing season, water availability, biodiversity, and habitats. The pattern of climate change will have a differential impact in terms of the regions affected. A clear north–south divide emerges, with countries of southern Europe likely to face declining yields due to increased temperatures and reduced precipitation. In the legislative proposals for the common agricultural policy (CAP) for the post-2020 period, the European Commission has set a high level of ambition in both environmental and climate change objectives, taking into account the fact that agriculture is responsible for around 10 % of the EU's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The European Green Deal outlined in the Commission's political guidelines aims to make Europe the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050. A range of mitigation and adaptation responses are available, designed to curb GHG emissions and reduce vulnerability to climate change. The EU can use the CAP as a tool to influence policy-making in the area of climate change. In fact, data on the operation and impact of the CAP on climate change and GHG emissions have been examined using a range of sources, including a study undertaken for the Commission. One of its conclusions is that there are a range of CAP measures that are only partially relevant to climate needs, as the CAP is constrained by the lack of compulsory implementation. Additionally, a series of inconsistencies and 'missed opportunities' were identified in the study. It remains to be seen how such findings will influence the content and design of the new CAP strategic plans, given that the Commission's future proposals for them include giving greater discretion to Member States.

Les régions ultrapériphériques de l’Union européenne

15-05-2020

Les régions ultrapériphériques de l’Union européenne font l’objet d’un traitement spécial du fait des difficultés structurelles auxquelles elles font face, telles que l’éloignement, les difficultés posées par le relief ou la dépendance économique vis-à-vis d’un petit nombre de produits, et qui peuvent gravement entraver leur développement. Des mécanismes de soutien spécifiques existent dans le cadre de la politique de cohésion, de la politique agricole et de la politique de la pêche et la Commission ...

Les régions ultrapériphériques de l’Union européenne font l’objet d’un traitement spécial du fait des difficultés structurelles auxquelles elles font face, telles que l’éloignement, les difficultés posées par le relief ou la dépendance économique vis-à-vis d’un petit nombre de produits, et qui peuvent gravement entraver leur développement. Des mécanismes de soutien spécifiques existent dans le cadre de la politique de cohésion, de la politique agricole et de la politique de la pêche et la Commission a défini des mesures destinées à aider les régions ultrapériphériques dans des communications publiées en 2004, 2008 et 2012. Néanmoins, les régions ultrapériphériques rencontrant toujours de nombreuses difficultés dans des domaines tels que la mobilité, le chômage et la lutte contre le changement climatique, des débats ont été ouverts sur l’élaboration d’une nouvelle stratégie, publiée en octobre 2017. À la suite de vastes consultations avec les parties intéressées, la communication de 2017 offre une nouvelle approche pour soutenir le développement des régions ultrapériphériques en optimisant leurs atouts, en exploitant de nouvelles possibilités de croissance et de création d’emplois, et en ciblant davantage l’attention sur leurs situations et besoins spécifiques. Pour ce faire, la communication définit une série d’actions concrètes et coordonnées à mettre en œuvre au niveau de l’Union européenne (UE) et au niveau national, ainsi que par les régions ultrapériphériques, et appelle à renforcer le partenariat entre les régions ultrapériphériques, les États membres et l’Union. En mai 2018, la Commission européenne a présenté un vaste ensemble de propositions pour la période 2021-2027, établissant le cadre législatif requis pour mener cette stratégie après 2020. En prenant en considération les besoins spécifiques des régions ultrapériphériques dans un total de 21 propositions, la Commission a assuré la continuité de nombreuses mesures spéciales favorisant leur développement. Toutefois, ces propositions ont reçu un accueil mitigé de la part des régions ultrapériphériques, notamment en ce qui concerne les réductions proposées dans les taux de cofinancement et les ressources financières. Publié en mars 2020, le rapport de la Commission européenne sur la mise en œuvre de la communication de 2017 estime que celle-ci a fourni des résultats concrets et que le processus de mise en œuvre de la communication va dans la bonne direction. Cependant, le développement restant insuffisant dans les régions ultrapériphériques, il est clair que les difficultés persistent. Il reste à voir si la stratégie 2017 et les mesures spéciales mises en avant pour la période post-2020 suffiront à combler les inégalités avec le reste de l’Union, et à atteindre les nouveaux objectifs ambitieux du pacte vert pour l’Europe. Il s’agit d’une version révisée et actualisée d’un briefing de janvier 2018.

The EU 2030 Biodeversity Strategy

15-05-2020

Following the presentation of the Communication on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 - Bringing nature back into our lives (COM (2020) 380 of 20 May 2020), this briefing note (1) provides background elements on the EU Biodiversity policy, (2) presents the key features of its new strategy and (3) analyses its potential effects on the CAP and the upcoming national strategic plans.

Following the presentation of the Communication on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 - Bringing nature back into our lives (COM (2020) 380 of 20 May 2020), this briefing note (1) provides background elements on the EU Biodiversity policy, (2) presents the key features of its new strategy and (3) analyses its potential effects on the CAP and the upcoming national strategic plans.

Research for the AGRI Committee - The Farm to Fork Strategy implications for agriculture and the CAP

15-05-2020

The aim of this In-Depth Analysis prepared by the Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies is to explore the possible implications of the Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F) for agriculture and the CAP and, as a result, on the legislative works of the AGRI Committee over the 2020 - 2023 period. The analysis is based on the following sources: the Communication on the European Green Deal (COM (2019) 640 of 11 December 2019); the EC roadmap and key actions of the European Green Deal (11 December ...

The aim of this In-Depth Analysis prepared by the Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies is to explore the possible implications of the Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F) for agriculture and the CAP and, as a result, on the legislative works of the AGRI Committee over the 2020 - 2023 period. The analysis is based on the following sources: the Communication on the European Green Deal (COM (2019) 640 of 11 December 2019); the EC roadmap and key actions of the European Green Deal (11 December 2019); the EC F2F Strategy roadmap (17 February 2020); the Communication ‘A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system’ (COM (2020) 381 of 20 May 2020); the Draft Action Plan of the Farm to Fork Strategy (Annex of the EC Communication of 20 May 2020); the Commission staff working document ‘Analysis of links between CAP reform and Green Deal’ (SWD (2020) of 20 May 2020); and others background documents accompanying the F2F Communication of 20 May 2020.

Coronavirus crisis support for EU farmers

28-04-2020

EU farmers are among the few key workers who have not seen a dramatic change in their daily routines since the coronavirus crisis began. They are still farming to supply EU citizens with food. Some public health protection measures have however affected farming activities and sales badly. While the EU has taken a number of measures to mitigate this impact, the possibility of further measures is high on the agricultural policy agenda.

EU farmers are among the few key workers who have not seen a dramatic change in their daily routines since the coronavirus crisis began. They are still farming to supply EU citizens with food. Some public health protection measures have however affected farming activities and sales badly. While the EU has taken a number of measures to mitigate this impact, the possibility of further measures is high on the agricultural policy agenda.

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