Agriculture in the European Union: Seven More Years of Environmental Austerity?

  • Alicia A. EpsteinEmail author
Conference paper


At a time when scientific consensus suggests that urgent and ambitious action is needed to address the ecological impacts of production agriculture, not least for realising international climate and environmental objectives, the political will to address these challenges has become increasingly stifled by several converging factors. In the European context, years of economic austerity has been followed by dramatic events including the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union in 2016, as well as the endorsement of nationalist and populist agendas across a growing number of Member States. Together, these and other shifts in the geopolitical winds have already had direct implications for the way that environmental objectives are prioritised and funded under the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy. And, as the European Union seeks to conclude the next round of policy reform (covering the programming period 2021–2027), the legislative proposals currently being negotiated suggest that ‘environmental austerity’ could continue well into the future. Against this background, this chapter considers the extent to which the Common Agricultural Policy may be expected to deliver the outcomes necessary to meaningfully address ecological decline and climate change in the European Union during the next seven-year programming cycle.


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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Law and AdministrationBrandenburg Technical UniversityCottbusGermany

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