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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.

Regiões ultraperiféricas da UE

15-05-2020

As regiões ultraperiféricas da União Europeia podem beneficiar de um tratamento especial devido a dificuldades estruturais, como o afastamento, a topografia difícil ou a dependência económica em relação a um pequeno número de produtos, que podem dificultar gravemente o seu desenvolvimento. Existem mecanismos de apoio específicos no âmbito das políticas de coesão, agrícola e das pescas, e as medidas destinadas a ajudar as regiões ultraperiféricas foram objeto de comunicações da Comissão publicadas ...

As regiões ultraperiféricas da União Europeia podem beneficiar de um tratamento especial devido a dificuldades estruturais, como o afastamento, a topografia difícil ou a dependência económica em relação a um pequeno número de produtos, que podem dificultar gravemente o seu desenvolvimento. Existem mecanismos de apoio específicos no âmbito das políticas de coesão, agrícola e das pescas, e as medidas destinadas a ajudar as regiões ultraperiféricas foram objeto de comunicações da Comissão publicadas em 2004, 2008 e 2012. No entanto, considerando que as regiões ultraperiféricas continuavam a enfrentar múltiplos desafios em domínios como a mobilidade, o desemprego e as alterações climáticas, foi aberto um debate sobre a formulação de uma nova estratégia, a qual foi publicada em outubro de 2017. Na sequência de uma ampla consulta dos interessados, a Comunicação de 2017 oferece uma nova abordagem em relação ao apoio a prestar para o desenvolvimento das regiões ultraperiféricas, otimizando os seus ativos, explorando as novas oportunidades de crescimento e de criação de emprego e centrando se mais nas suas circunstâncias e necessidades específicas. Para este fim, a Comunicação apresenta uma série de medidas concretas e coordenadas, a tomar a nível da União Europeia (UE) e a nível nacional, assim como pelas regiões ultraperiféricas, e apela a uma parceria mais forte entre as regiões ultraperiféricas, os Estados Membros e a UE. Em maio de 2018, a Comissão Europeia apresentou um vasto conjunto de propostas para o período de 2021 2027, que preveem o quadro legislativo necessário para conduzir esta estratégia após 2020. Tendo em conta as necessidades específicas das regiões ultraperiféricas num total de 21 propostas, a Comissão assegurou a continuação de muitas das medidas especiais de apoio ao seu desenvolvimento. No entanto, estas propostas receberam reações divididas por parte das regiões ultraperiféricas, em especial no que se refere às propostas relativas a uma redução das taxas de cofinanciamento e dos recursos financeiros. O Relatório da Comissão Europeia sobre a aplicação da Comunicação de 2017, publicado em março de 2020, considera que a Comunicação teve resultados concretos e que o processo de aplicação da Comunicação está a avançar na direção certa. No entanto, considerando que as regiões ultraperiféricas continuam a registar um atraso no seu desenvolvimento, é evidente que os desafios não despareceram. Falta saber se a estratégia de 2017 e as medidas especiais apresentadas para o período após 2020 serão, em conjunto, suficientes para colmatar o fosso de desigualdade em relação ao resto da UE e para alcançar os novos objetivos ambiciosos do Pacto Ecológico. O presente documento é uma versão revista e atualizada de um Briefing de janeiro de 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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