Jan Plagge is Chairman of the Civil Dialogue Group
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The Civil Dialogue Group (CDG CAP) is the EU Commission's most important advisory body on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020. Jan Plagge (President of Bioland and the IFOAM EU Group), previously Vice-Chairman, is now Chairman.
Plagge: "All social groups have a great interest in a sustainable CAP regulation"
"The reform of the EU's agricultural policy has a decisive influence on which agriculture will pay off in the future. The new agricultural policy must give priority to rewarding achievements in the areas of environmental, climate, species and animal protection, thus offering farmers new income prospects. A downward competition must be prevented, which leads to less instead of more environmental impacts", Plagge emphasised on the occasion of his election and added: "It would be fatal if the CAP would give the greatest advantage to those who do the least for the environment, climate and animal welfare". With a downward spiral, acceptance of the CAP in society would continue to dwindle. Citizens would be less and less willing to invest billions of euros of taxpayers' money in agriculture. Plagge stresses: "Not only farmers, but all social groups have a great interest in a sustainable CAP regulation. It is important that the CAP meets citizens' expectations and serves the EU's objective of protecting our livelihoods".
Only this week, scientists and the EU Court of Auditors criticised that the EU Commission's legislative proposal did not achieve the desired result - above all because the majority of taxpayers' money should continue to flow into lump-sum direct payments instead of specifically rewarding environmental, climate and animal protection.
"It is now the task of the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers to correct the draft regulation in such a way that the CAP preserves and strengthens the production bases of agriculture. This includes clean water, healthy soils and biodiversity", Plagge concluded.
The 'Civil Dialogue Group on the Common Agricultural Policy' (CDG CAP) has been in existence since 2016 and is the EU Commission's main advisory body for the reform of the CAP after 2020. Its members are GAP stakeholders, ranging from environmental protection associations to large trade associations. The EU Commission started preparations for the reform in 2017. To this end, it sought the views of agricultural policy stakeholders and non-governmental organisations in Europe. It also provided online advice for EU citizens. Building on this, the Commission is now developing policy options and assessing their impact.