12 September 1997

Environmental conditions – not voluntary

WILDLIFE charity BirdLife International will demand that EU member states must attach environmental conditions to increased compensation payments when it submits its report on CAP reform to EU farm commissioner Franz Fischler next week.

The RSPB, which is the UK partner of BirdLife International, says the voluntary conditions proposed in the Agenda 2000 package, were astonishing and would only be taken up by a handful of northern European countries.

Jim Dixon, RSPB senior agricultural adviser, said: "We will be asking him to press ahead with compulsory cross-compliance. Increasing compensatory payments without environmental conditions is ridiculous and will only be taken up by the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands."

Mr Dixon will present Mr Fischler with the BirdLife Inter-national report, called A Future for Europes Rural Environment – Reforming the CAP, in Brussels on Monday.

And he will ask the EU commissioner to increase the amount of money proposed for agri-environment schemes. &#42