More butterflies and flowers to be a 'key requirement' of new CAP
New CAP will demand better results on biodiversity schemes
The next CAP will be more results-based from an environmental perspective and will have to deliver quantifiable benefits on biodiversity and climate change.
A senior EU Commission official told farmers that ensuring there are "more butterflies and flowers" will be a key requirement of CAP from 2020.
Humberto Delgado Rosa stressed that an "enhanced level of ambition" on both the environment and climate change will be an essential feature of the new CAP and that the role of farmers and landowners in delivering these objectives must be recognised.
However, Mr Delgado, who is a senior official with the Commission's environment division, DG ENV, said that having a CAP which "takes more account of nature" meant that it would have to "deliver better results".
Mr Delgado was speaking at a conference in Carrick-on-Shannon last Friday entitled 'Generating a return on High Nature Value (HNV) land'.
Local MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan said that the proposed 5pc cut to the next CAP budget highlighted the difficulty in defending the current regime.
Mr Flanagan said continuing to guarantee high CAP payments to individual farmers based on what they produced 15 years ago was totally unacceptable to Europe's taxpayers - a point which he claimed Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan had conceded.
"If we are to defend the CAP budget we must show that we are serious in our commitment to environmental measures," Mr Flanagan said.