In Europe, the number and variety of animal species on farmland
– “farmland biodiversity” – is in marked decline. Yet the EU
committed to stop biodiversity loss by 2020. To do this, The
Commission planned to allocate €66 billion from the common
agricultural policy between 2014 and 2020.
We assessed whether the EU’s agricultural policy has helped to
maintain and enhance farmland biodiversity. We found that the
formulation of the agriculture targets in the EU biodiversity
strategy makes it difficult to measure progress; the way the
Commission tracks biodiversity expenditure in the EU budget is
unreliable; the impact of CAP direct payments is limited or
unknown; and the Commission and Member States have favoured
lower-impact rural development measures.
We recommend that the Commission improves the design of its
next biodiversity strategy, enhances the contribution made to
biodiversity by direct payments and rural development action,
tracks biodiversity-related expenditure more accurately and
develops reliable indicators that are suited to monitoring progress
in farmland biodiversity.
ECA special report pursuant to Article 287(4), second