EU agricultural funds: Agricultural aid is tied more strictly to environmental requirements

According to a newspaper report, the Federal Environment and Agriculture Ministry have decided, after months of dispute, on the future distribution of EU agricultural funds in Germany agreed. As the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" reported, citing the Ministry of the Environment, the cabinet should approve the compromise on Tuesday.

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) sees the agreement as a "great success". She told the newspaper: “I was very much in favor of a system change in agricultural subsidies, and that will now come step by step. The environmental and common good of agriculture are finally being rewarded. "

Brussels has the final say

According to the report, the compromise envisages that in future a significantly larger part of the six billion euros that flow into Germany every year will be tied to environmental services. This applies, for example, to 25 percent of the so-called direct payments. So far, these have primarily been based on the area that a farmer cultivates, but are to be linked more closely to environmental regulations in the future. "That means that from 2023 on there will be one billion euros more annually for environmentally friendly agriculture," said Schulze.

For the appropriate measures, farmers can choose from a catalog. According to Schulze, this includes, for example, the creation of fallow land, a diverse crop rotation in fields or the renunciation of pesticides.

In addition to the Cabinet of Ministers, the compromise that has now been found must also Bundestag and Bundesrat agree. According to the report, the agreement coincides in many respects with the decision that the federal states' agriculture ministers passed in March. The final word on environmental regulations is held by the EU Commissionwhich then still has to agree to the German plan for the distribution of the funds.