The demand is also backed by EU farmers, trade unions and church groups.
They also urge Brussels to keep the EU’s “Farm-to-Fork ambitions of the Green Deal alive.”
A broad coalition of civil society groups sent an open letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, urging her to continue defending the environmental and agricultural elements of the Green Deal, which they describe as “arguably the most important European milestone project of this century”.
In total 116 organisations from environmental, scientific, social, development cooperation and agricultural spheres as well as Christian organisations have co-signed the open letter.
The signatories say they want to “highlight that the demands for further suspension of the environmental measures in the CAP (citing set-aside, crop rotation and no pesticides) using the war in Ukraine as a false pretext, is at odds with a broad scientific consensus about the vital importance of stopping ecosystem collapse for future food production and farmers.”
Moreover, the “current political demands to stop essential parts of the Green Deal such as the legal proposals to restore nature (NRL) and reduce pesticides (SUR), are in stark contradiction with core Christian-democratic values.”
They cite the European People’s Party manifesto which says that the ecological crisis “threatens what makes our world habitable”, which is why we “cannot continue […] as we have done in the past” but must strive to “leave a world where life remains”.
The signatories stress that securing a sustainable future for Europe requires a Common Agricultural Policy that is consistent with the objectives of the Farm-to-Fork and Biodiversity Strategies of the Green Deal, and which combines ecological policies with fair socio-economic prospects for farmers.
The organisations assure the Commission President of their support in defending the Green Deal and stress that “giving in to the short-sighted demands of agrochemical lobbyists and their political allies would be a mistake of historic proportions”.
They state: “It does not make sense from either a climate change perspective, a biodiversity perspective nor for vibrant rural communities and prosperous family farms, to keep investing billions of taxpayers money into producing feed for meat production on an agro-industrial scale.”