Wildlife to suffer if UK proposals for European funding cuts are approved
Saturday 10 December 2005
Europe's wildlife will suffer if EU leaders next week accept the UK proposals for a reduced European budget, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has warned.
It said Britain, which holds the rotating EU presidency, had proposed massive cuts in eco-friendly rural subsidies as part of its attempt to broker agreement on a new-look EU budget for the next seven years. That would reverse a hard-fought reform two years ago that geared the common agricultural policy (CAP) subsidy closer to environmental concerns, the group said.
The CAP's "rural development" pot pays for schemes to support rural communities and protect wildlife in agricultural areas. The UK government has pencilled in only €66bn (£44bn) for the 2007-13 budget, against the EC's original proposal for €89bn. The main CAP budget of farmers' direct payments is untouched at €300bn.
The rural development arm of the CAP has been seen as the future for EU farm spending and a way of changing agricultural subsidy from market-distorting payouts.
Graham Wynne, the RSPB chief executive, said the British Government's budget blueprint "undermines the spirit of recent agriculture reform, which the UK strongly backed. Last week, the Government published its vision for European agriculture backed by rural development payments and a brighter future for farmers, wildlife and rural communities. This week it is proposing to slash the payments across the continent."
A British official said there was nothing stopping individual EU countries making environmental protection a policy priority independent of any budget deal. He said the UK had also created leeway to transfer up to 20 per cent of the main CAP payments into rural development to top it back up again.
arts + entsThere were towering ideas, some scintillating performances and revelatory grooves... our writers pick out their personal highlights
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
elephant appealPrince William signs up for our charity appeal
peoplePrepare to be entranced by worms as the molecular biologist gets ready to give the Royal Institution science lectures
elephant appealSo says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
booksWe examine the best titles for teens
voicesPeople moan that Christmas is too commercial, the spirit lost. But it is a time to over-indulge, and always has been, says DJ Taylor
scienceResearchers teach border collie to understand sentences using more than 1,000 words
booksA Christmas story in six parts
travelWill high-value tourism help the workshops of this Renaissance city?
food + drinkA trifle without custard? Surely not! Nonsense – and here’s three to finish your festive meal that prove it
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
- 1 Tim Sherwood challenges Daniel Levy to set out vision for Tottenham Hotspur’s future
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 5 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits : Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer (WPF...
£45000 - £65000 per annum + London: Harrington Starr: Senior Automation QA Eng...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Year 6 Teacher - Gilli...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of English - S...