Countries wage last-ditch fight against CAP greening

Most member states are at odds with the EU executive over the stringency of rules on ecological focus areas under the common agriculture policy

A large majority of member states are at odds with the EU executive over the stringency of some environmental requirements under the common agriculture policy (CAP).

Twenty-three member states, including France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Ireland, have warned the European Commission not to overstep its powers by trying to set too stringent rules on ‘ecological focus areas’ (EFAs).

EFAs are mostly fallow farmland that should benefit biodiversity. Many farmers must put these in place to get some of their direct payments under CAP.

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