NFU members are being urged to lobby their MEPs to reject a draft Soils Directive which is due to be voted on in the European Parliament later this month.
The plenary vote on the EU’s Soil Thematic Strategy is due to take place on November 13 and NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond said it was important as many members as possible registered their opposition to the directive with their MEPs beforehand.
Mr Raymond said: “The NFU’s fundamental concerns are that the draft directive fails to acknowledge the significant benefits that are, and will continue to be, delivered through existing and forthcoming policies such as CAP reform cross compliance measures, agri-environment schemes, and carefully targeted measures that will be delivered through the Water Framework Directive priority catchment areas.
“We believe the directive will add unnecessary administrative burdens on member states, regional and local authorities, and land managers. It is particularly concerning that the EU’s objectives of better regulation and simplification appear to have been disregarded in respect of these proposals.
“Recent discussions within the Parliament’s Environment Committee have offered some clarification and constructive amendments to the proposed directive. However, there remains a long way to go before the Commission’s proposed directive could, in our view, be workable, enforceable and, at the same time, meet the numerous objectives of the European Union.”