The European Commission has asked France to review its national strategic plan (PSN), declination of the common agricultural policy (CAP) for 2023-2027. Brussels invites France to raise its environmental ambitions, considering that its plan only made it possible “to support only partially the ecological transition of the agricultural and forestry sectors”.
The European Commission has asked France to review its national strategic plan (PSN), declination of the common agricultural policy (CAP) for 2023-2027, according to a letter obtained by the Context site, taking up criticisms formulated by certain peasant organizations and citizens. In this 34-page document dated March 31, Brussels invites France to raise its environmental ambitions, considering that its plan only made it possible “to support only partially the ecological transition of the agricultural and forestry sectors”.
Questions about the eco-diet
Among the weaknesses of the plan, she points to the opening of higher level remuneration in the eco-scheme – direct aid to reward the most virtuous practices – to farmers certified “High environmental value” (HVE), less restrictive than organic. “The Commission is concerned about the overall design of the eco-scheme as well as the low level of environmental and climate ambition proposed,” she writes.
It also asks France to “define crop rotation prescriptions”, which serve to promote biodiversity and reduce fertilizer consumption and not to apply a “general rule” of diversification on the territory without sufficient justification. For these two reasons, Brussels is asking France, the first beneficiary of the CAP with nearly 9.4 billion euros a year in subsidies, to “modify certain elements of the Plan so that it fully respects the regulatory framework”.
The “weakness of France on environmental architecture”
For the 45 farmers’ and citizens’ organizations of the “For another CAP” group, this letter underlines the “weakness [de la France] on environmental architecture, the conditionality of aid, organic farming”, listed its president Mathieu Courgeau, during a conference organized on Wednesday. “With the presidency of the Council of the EU, France should have positioned itself in leader on agricultural issues (…) She preferred to play the stability card “and avoid any change, he regrets.
The “For another CAP” platform, which compared the various PSNs submitted to Brussels, underlines the “ambitious arbitration” of certain countries such as Germany, which will transfer 10% of its aid to pillar II of the CAP (organic, young farmers, small farms), compared to 4% previously. Due to the war in Ukraine, the European Commission has also asked Member States to review their plans to “strengthen the resilience of the EU agricultural sector”, and “reduce (their) dependence on synthetic fertilizers”. They will now have to rework these PSNs, which will be reviewed again before the end of the year.