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Konstantin Kreiser is the head of EU Nature Policy at NABU (BirdLife and EEB Partner in Germany).
The member states should take care of the environment and with as little bureaucracy as possible. The Commission will transfer billions of Euros in Direct Payments, which member states can in turn invest in further intensification and cheap mass production. Lost in all of this are investments for a transition towards sustainable agriculture.
Hogan’s own consultation, in which 80% of the respondents asked for a fundamental reform of the subsidies, is just being ignored – even misrepresented. In the press conference, the Commissioner stated that the majority of the respondents asked for a continuation of the direct payments. In fact, the opposite is true.
The environmental impact of Direct Income support is disastrous. And from a socio-economic perspective, subsidies are inefficient and have no proven EU added value. This was shown in an extensive and independent Fitness-Check of the CAP – a study which the Commission refused to carry out itself.
Hogan is now giving EU Governments the scope to shape flat-rate income support at national level. What remains unclear is how common EU goals can be reached, especially for biodiversity and climate. Similarly hazy is the question of whether this system will create huge distortions to the EU common market.