Conference: How can we make the EU's Common Agricultural Policy green and fair?


Are you worried about the state of nature, the marginalization of the rural areas and the future possibilities for young and small scale farmers to have a way of living from agriculture? 

Then attend a conference in the Danish Parliament about how we can make the EU's common agricultural policy greener and more just. A reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is on its way and hence we have invited international speakers to make recommendations for the politicians.

Attendance is free, but you have to REGISTRE NO LATER THAN THE 5th of December at 9 am. See the full PROGRAMME below. 

Registre here.

The conference is organised in cooperation with La Via Campesina Denmark (Frie Bønder - Levende Land).

The conference will also be streamed online at, so please share with your network around Europe.


2.00-2.10 pm – Welcome and introduction

by Nanna Clifforth, NOAH – Friends of the Earth Denmark

2.10-2.40 pm – Unexploited potentials for nature and small farmers in the current CAP

by Ole Færgeman, “Frie Bønder – Levende Land”- La Via Campesina Denmark

Denmark does not exploit the possibility to transfer up to 15 % of the budget for direct payments per hectare (Pillar 1) to the rural development programme (Pillar 2). This means less money for sustainable forms of agriculture and the necessary synergy between the environment and agriculture.

The presentation will also address the decision in Denmark not to exploit the CAP’s redistribution scheme to encourage small scale agriculture and the relationship of direct payments per hectare to land prices and thereby young farmers' access to owning farm land.

2.40-3.10 pm - How can the next CAP be a driver for sustainable food and farming in Europe and abroad? 

by Faustine Bas-Defossez, policy manager for agriculture and bioenergy, European Environmental Bureau

The presentation will take into consideration the environmental impacts of the current CAP in a local and global perspective. There are possibilities to move away from the CAP's two pillar structure and instead support farmers that protect public goods such as a clean environment and healthy food production. It can be through new policy instruments supporting biodiversity and ecosystems, sustainable rural development, healthy consumption and sustainable farming practices. The presentation will also provide recommendations for a more inclusive agricultural governance system and a new monitoring system.

3.10-3.25 pm - Break

3.25-3.55 pm - Land grabbing and land concentration in Europe – call for a new approach to land governance

by Sylvia Kay, researcher on land tenure, natural resource governance, and agricultural investment at Transnational Institute. Lead author of an official European Parliament commissioned study on land grabbing in Europe.

The presentation will disseminate the scale, scope, drivers and impacts of land grabbing in Europe as well as the extreme levels of land concentration. It will draw upon findings from the study Extent of Farmland Grabbing in the EU, commissioned by the European Parliament (EP) in 2015.

Sylvia Kay will present how e.g. speculation, land artificialisation (elimination of agricultural land for other purposes), and the highly uneven distribution of CAP benefits block the entry into farming of young and aspiring peasants, while leading to the further exit of Europe’s small farmers.

This has real implications for European food security, employment, welfare, and biodiversity as with the demise and marginalisation of small-scale farming in Europe, the multiple benefits of this type of farming system and way of life also disappear. Hence, recommendations for a new approach to land governance throughout the EU will also be presented.

3.55-4.20 pm - Problems with the CAP reform process and recommendations for support for sustainability

by Alan Mathews, professor emeritus in European Agricultural Policy in the department of Economics, School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

The presentation will provide considerations on fundamental problems with the current CAP reform period and the prospects for significant changes in the CAP after 2020. Moreover, Alan Mathews will present problems with direct per hectare subsidies and recommendations for CAP reform that emphasize support for sustainability.

4.20-4.40 pm - Break – tea, coffee and refreshments

4.40-5.15 pm - Questions from participants and debate with speakers

5.15-5.55 pm - Panel debate with right and left wing politicians

5.55-6.00 pm - Thank you for today


Power points etc.