ENVIRONMENT: THE ROLE OF THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY IN THE PROTECTION OF TERRITORY AND BIODIVERSITY

” ” ” “The "unique landscape of the English hills", the "pastoral landscapes of Southern Transylvania", the "distinctive olive-growing terraces" of Italy and Spain, the "Austrian high-rise pastures", the "palustrine prairies of Mecklemburg, in Germany": these are some of the "landscapes of cultural relevance", for the protection of which the EU invests by supporting the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This area of EU action, that takes up a large share of the EU budget, "plays a key role in enabling farmers to offer environmental assets and services, provided such policies are finely targeted". This is the belief of the EU Commission, which publishes a report by the Institute for European Environmental Policy. This survey is "the first attempt to identify the whole range of public assets provided by farmers" and "explains the reasons behind the allocation of public funds to such end". Such "public assets" include landscapes of cultural relevance, the protection of the agricultural habitat and the protection of biodiversity. The survey has been presented as part of the debate that is taking place within the EU about the future of the CAP for the after-2013.

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