Press Release 24.04.2024

EU Parliament greenlight to dangerous CAP changes will hurt farmers and society 

Today, a majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) supported the European Commission proposal to amend the EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) by removing important environmental conditionalities to the receipt of EU subsidies. foodwatch regrets this outcome and warns that these legal changes will have long-lasting negative effects for the future of farming, including increasingly damaging our ecosystems, locking farmers into the use of toxic substances (such as pesticides and fertilisers), putting their health and that of consumers in danger, and undermining the long-term economic benefits of a transition towards sustainable practices. 

The international consumer organisation is also concerned at the rushed process that led to this vote, whereby one of the most important EU policies was reversed without impact assessment and without comprehensive parliamentary scrutiny, lacking important democratic safeguards.  

Jörg Rohwedder, Executive Director of foodwatch international said: 

“The outcome of today’s vote is a sellout of the few sustainability measures in EU’s agriculture policy and is in total disconnect with citizens’ demands to tackle the urgencies of climate change and biodiversity loss. 

The curtailment of environmental regulations, initiated by Ursula von der Leyen, was not only a response to the massive farmers’ protests around Europe, but above all a political move towards her reappointment as Commission President.  

We call on consumers and citizens to keep active and have their say at the June European elections. It is more important than ever to elect representatives who are working for the public interest and not the interest of a handful of lobbyists.” 


The proposal for CAP amendments presented by the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was formally introduced by the Commission services on 15th March 2024. Following swift support from national capitals, it was pushed through the European Parliament decision-making process without full scrutiny (the committee in charge of environmental matters was bypassed). 

Together with numerous civil society groups, foodwatch has criticised this process for bypassing established democratic scrutiny procedures and has called on the proposal to be withdrawn.