A report published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) reveals that the EU has been only partially successful in integrating water policy goals into the common agricultural policy (CAP). The audit highlighted weaknesses in the two instruments currently used to integrate water concerns into the CAP (namely crosscompliance and rural development) and pointed out delays and weaknesses in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.
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“In Europe, agriculture is, quite naturally, a major user of water - around one-third of total water use, and is a source of pressure on water resources, for example through nutrient pollution in water,” stated Mr Kevin Cardiff, the ECA Member responsible for the report, “While there has been progress, the Commission and Member States need to better integrate water policy concerns with the common agricultural policy to ensure long-term sustainable water use”.
The CAP represents just under 40 % of the EU budget (over € 50 billion for 2014) and through the CAP the EU seeks to influence agricultural practices affecting water.
> Survey of farm advisory bodies