Press release

CAP vote paves way for Mercosur ratification - Green MEP

17th April 2024
Grace O'Sullivan MEP

Green Party MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan has warned that a vote to slash environmental standards in the Common Agricultural Policy paves the way for the ratification of Mercosur trade deal, which will be devastating for the environment and for the livelihoods of Irish farmers.

The European Parliament last week voted to fast-track approval of ‘simplification’ of the CAP process - effectively gutting environmental regulations that formed part of the scheme. MEPs will vote on final approval at the meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week.

O’Sullivan described the proposals as a race to the bottom, paving the way for Mercosur ratification by moving towards regulatory alignment with South America.

“Europe’s high environmental standards in the agriculture sector were the last bulwark stopping the ratification of this disastrous Mercosur trade deal. By lowering them, and by stripping environmental regulations from the Common Agricultural Policy, we have cleared one of the last hurdles between the EU and Mercosur countries. There was a significant gap in standards between both parties to this treaty - and we have significantly closed that gap by slashing environmental standards in the CAP. 

“We know that the EU is continuing to push for the ratification of Mercosur - there is no alteration to the trade and economic strategy that suits the EU’s large, profitable agri-businesses. We also know that climate, environment and the Green Deal have been completely omitted from the EU’s next Strategic Agenda. Everything is lining up for Mercosur to be ratified in the next five year term. 

“It is important to note that two of the four farming groups consulted on the plan to slash standards opposed the move - a proposal with no impact assessment carried out. The small farmers association ECVC and the organic association IFOAM had their concerns ignored.”

The “CAP Simplification Package” will be voted on next week during the final European Parliament Plenary of the term, from the 22nd to the 25th April.

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