Michel Dantin MEP
Chair of the “Agriculture and Water Management” Working Group of the EP Intergroup on
“Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development”
Keynote speech by:
Director “Sustainability and income support”
Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
At a time where agriculture accounts for 44% of water abstraction in Europe and where climate change increases water stresses, the supply of water is a key determinant for farmers to ensure high yields and a good quality of food production. On the other hand, EU agriculture has a negative impact on 90% of river basins in Europe. The excessive use of nutrients and pesticides or intensive abstraction are three main causes. At European level, different instruments exist to promote sustainability in this sector. The Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) sets rural development measures linked to effective and sustainable water management, while the Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims at improving water quality through river basin management plans. However, implementation gaps hamper the efficiency of these measures.
This meeting will gather high-level policy-makers, stakeholders, experts and representatives from the civil society, to exchange and discuss the issue of water management in agriculture, and the challenges faced by Europe in the strive to improve the sustainability of the European agricultural model.
A summary report will be available in the coming days.