Anna Barnett - the European Environmental Bureau

The expected
challenges of
the 2014-2020
By Anna Barnett, DG
Environment, European
at the European Environment
Bureau's working group on
agriculture, Dublin, 9 April 2013
1. Environmental challenges from present
and past programming periods
2. Challenges specific to new programming
3. How best to address these challenges?
(will want your input too please, so do
prepare some thoughts…)
1. Environmental challenges
from past and present
programming periods:
a) programme design
 Insufficient
prioritisation by MS/regions on
 Insufficient environmental knowledge in
some MS/regions, or failure to use existing
 Insufficient funding for environment
1. Environmental challenges
from past and present
programming periods:
b) Programme negotiation
 Incomplete
use of the Strategic
Environmental Assessment as a tool
 Programmes arriving late with pressure to
approve too hastily
 The challenge of language
 Varying degrees of environmental
awareness in teams working on
programme approval
1. Environmental challenges
from past and present
programming periods:
c) Programme uptake
 Farmers
given insufficient time or
information to apply
 Payment levels set too low
 Administration not actively encouraging
 Faults in measure design put farmers off
 Changes in circumstance (e.g. raised
cereal prices) put farmers off
2. Specific new challenges
a) the Common Strategic
Framework (CSF)
This involves funds (ERDF, ESF, Cohesion Fund,
EMFF) very different from Rural Development
Differences between RD and other funds:
 Many RD measures involve paying for
environmental services over several years i.e.
not 'investments'
 Millions of farms - mostly very small businesses
 projects very small scale  not practicable
to approve individual projects  RD
programmes have to contain highly detailed
measures 
CSF constraints
So the RDP approvals process determines the
detail of the measures – unlike the other funds 
The content of each RDP is the key stage in the
process which determines the degree of
environmental integration.
Whereas for the other CSF funds, wider framework
is set into which individual projects then fit.
These differences explain why e.g. some are
arguing that all Operational Programmes
(including RDPs) should be approved by May
2014! (p.m. last time RD process took 2 + years).
2.a. CSF constraints
 Other
funds, focused on one-off
investments, can change direction to
reflect political debate of the day (e.g.
Europe 2020). Not everyone understands
that environmental part of RD is the core
part of the EU's long terms integration
strategy and cannot just be replaced by
something else.
 Risk that transfers can be made between
2. Specific new challenges
b) lack of national strategies
In the present programming period, having
the national strategies helped ensure that MS
paid attention to environmental needs.
Detailed environmental description made it
hard for the MS to deny environmental needs
CSF Partnership Papers are not a substitute for
national strategies, as they are less tailored to
RD needs, contain too many competing fund
needs, and are drafted by non RD experts
2. Specific new challenges
c) Worsening situation on
shortage of funds
European Council cut RD budget by 10% and
proposes 15% reverse modulation + 10% more for
some MS
Possible lack of minimum 25% for Axis 2 type
Any ‘equivalence’ in 1st pillar will use a lot of RD
funds on possibly low priority measures (even when
no double funding)
Economic situation widely being used as reason
not to prioritise environment, + MS arguing that
farmers need more investment money
2. Specific new challenges
d) new distractions from
present focus
Having more RD priorities
(knowledge/innovation; competitiveness;
food chain/risk management; ecosystems;
resource efficiency; social) distracts from
importance of environmental measures
Risk and insurance related measures could be
huge drain in some MS, and bring risks of
moral hazard damaging to environment
Risk that climate change measures, driven by
minimum spend requirement, will take up a lot
of funding without necessarily giving
equivalent value added
2. Specific new challenges
e) possible positive elements
If the greening ends up giving value added,
then the baseline for agri-environmentclimate measures will be higher, so same
money will achieve more for the environment
With NATURA and Water Framework Directives
coming into force on ground, MS may focus
on compliance related measures to avoid
infringements. (However, certain spending on
WFD could infringe Polluter Pays Principle, and
be wasteful of funds).
3. How best to address these
a) within the COM
Seek to protect environment in legal texts
Work for acceptable partnership papers
Seek acceptably long timeframe for
negotiating RDPs
Remain open to contacts with NGOs and
environmental authorities experiencing
What else can we do?
3. How best to address these
b) By managing authorities
 Consult
environmental authorities and
NGOs in a timely way, and use their
expertise to design optimal environmental
 Recognise that an ambitious baseline
allows limited funding to go further
 Recognise that being environmentally
ambitious forestalls infringements
 What else can managing authorities do?
3. How best to address
c) By NGOs/national/regional
environmental authorities
Work for correct application of the SEA
Press for substantial and timely consultation
of NGOs and environment ministries in
programme design
Make case for real intention by managing
authorities to make measures work
What else can NGOs and environmental
authorities do?
3. How best to address
d) Your turn now….
Also open to questions
 But
please don’t expect highly technical
answers, and please allow enough time
for people to put forward suggestions
how to address challenges…
 Thanks for your attention!

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