Budgetary Policies for Environmental Improvement
International Studies in Environmental Policy Making series
Edited by J. Peter Clinch, Kai Schlegelmilch, Rolf-Ulrich Sprenger and Ursula Triebswetter
Chapter 14: European Union agri-environmental policy: issues and potentials
Clinch 04 chap 12 15/11/01 1:30 pm Page 248 14. European Union agri-environmental policy: issues and potentials Frank J. Convery, John Fry, Alan Matthews, Siobhán O’Shea and Anne Pender 1. OBJECTIVES In this chapter, we describe some of the key environmental issues facing the EU which are farm based. We outline very briefly and generally what is being done at present to address these issues. We then focus on what is now the Commission’s strategy for the future in relation to agriculture in its environmental dimensions, as specified in Agenda 2000 – Volume I – For a Stronger and Wider Union, and provide suggestions as to how the integration of environmental and agricultural policies could be more complete and effective. 2. CONTEXT: UTILISATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES; EU POLICY What land is used for – the type of farming practised – and the intensity of farming are important in shaping environmental performance. There are three broad categories of farming – arable, grassland and permanent crops – with the area divided amongst them in the Union as shown in Table 14.1. In regard to land area and utilisation, there is some geographic specialisation, with Denmark mostly arable and Ireland mostly grassland leading their respective groups Table (14.2). The political influence of the sector derives from the fact that the agrichemical industries – which supply inputs such as pesticides and fertiliser – are important beneficiaries of the existing policies, there is a strong and wellestablished supporting bureaucracy in the Commission and in each member state, and – most of all...
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