For a CAP in line with the Green Deal

26/11/2020 – In an open letter to Commission President von der Leyen and to Commissioner for Agriculture Wojciechowski, we have expressed our concern regarding the text of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as it emerged from the discussions in the Council and the Parliament.

While the Council appears to have taken scant account of the Green Deal objectives, the Parliament’s amendments are mixed, in some cases pushing for higher environmental standards. However, the positions of the other institutions have not met most of the key conditions and the original proposal risks being substantially compromised.  

If the CAP is passed in anything like this form, it risks locking in agricultural policies which will accelerate biodiversity loss and create food insecurity as well as having potentially broader economic implications in the medium and longer term. Given the rapidly shifting political and social landscape and the accelerating climate and ecological crises, key parts of the CAP as it is taking shape might be unthinkable already in a few years’ time. 

Many colleagues working on the Green Deal and related policies feel frustration at those efforts being critically undermined by a weak policy inherited from the past and further diluted by the co-legislators. Consistency in the design and implementation of different EU policies is essential for their added value and effectiveness, in line with the Treaties.

We advocate that the Commission defend the elements of the original proposal, which are steppingstones for the Green Deal, and use the environmentally positive amendments made by the Parliament to help close the remaining gaps. We also propose the introduction of a review mechanism leading to the periodic revision of the CAP in line with the goals of Green Deal. If such amendments cannot be achieved, we propose exploring all possible options for withdrawing the Commission’s original proposal, with the goal of revising it in line with the Green Deal’s ambitions. A revised proposal could design an agricultural policy more in line with the proclaimed climate and environmental objectives of all the EU institutions, in particular the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the Farm to Fork Strategy. 

On 18 February, #EUstaff4climate had the pleasure of welcoming, listening to and debating with Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, former vice-chair of the IPCC, Ellen Fyhr, student at the European School and representative of the youth movement and Katrien van der Heyden, Anuna De Wever’s mother (Anuna is one of the founders of Youth for Climate Belgium). They all urged for deep changes and global action, stressing the need to act globally, at all levels, in all parts of the world. This can be achieved only if there is strong political will and shift with clear priorities putting human and ecosystems survival at the heart of political priorities. View Professor van Ypersele’s presentation here.

A record 11,012 EU staff members acting in their individual capacity, signed the petition “Act now on the climate and ecological emergency” to EU leaders, launched at the end of June 2019: an unprecedented inter-institutional bottom-up action calling for deep and immediate change, highlighting our growing concerns as citizens, parents, grandparents and employees. The time has now come to deliver the petition and we count on you to support us! 💚

When and where?

European Commission: Tuesday 4 February
Meeting point: in front of the Berlaymont at 12h45! Bring your own mug for a moment of conviviality; we will bring coffee! We will debrief you right after the petition handover.

Council of the European Union: Wednesday 12 February

European Parliament: Friday 21 February

We want to thank each and every one of you! This collective movement gave many the energy to deepen and share knowledge, organise awareness-raising events, launch concrete proposals, briefings and actions. The success of this petition was key in raising the attention of our leaders. Some of us were invited to discuss with them. We are active and will continue for the sake of Europe, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

We will take part in the Human Chain for Climate in Brussels on Sunday, 8 December and which is organised by Climate Express. This will be another opportunity to raise awareness as well as for us to be present and let the public know about our activities. We will be in charge of a check-point at Arts-Loi together with Rise for Climate. We will have an information stand there, help organize the chain, talk to people. And there will even be salsa animation!

EUstaff4climate will join the 4th Global Strike for Future organised by Students for Climate, Youth for Climate and Worker for Climate on 29 November! This will be the fourth active participation of EUStaff4Climate in these marches. EU staff will gather in Brussels at Place Rogier at 13h30 (until 14h30 roughly): flashmob, songs, pictures, slogans are being prepared.

The next EUstaff4climate plenary in Brussels will take place on Wednesday, 4 December at 5.30 pm. Please send an email to for info.

On 3 December, colleagues representing EUstaff4climate met with Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans.

On 12 November, colleagues representing EUstaff4climate met with the Commissioner-designate for Environment and Oceans, Virginijus Sinkevicius. The meeting was an opportunity for EUstaff4climate to highlight the bottom-up nature of our initiative and to underline the need for a systemic approach to meet the challenge of the climate and ecological emergency — what the European Council has acknowledged as an “existential threat”. We presented to him our ideas for the European Green Deal, on the importance of citizens involvement and for EU institutions to lead by example. We are looking forward to further exchanges and to welcoming Commissioner-designate Sinkevicius to one of our next plenary meetings.

A new EUstaff4climate group in Luxembourg was established and is already fully active! It held its second meeting on 24 October and discussed a number of issues (bike use, canteen food, car dependency for commuting etc.). Next event will be on Thursday 14 November, 18:00-20:00 where Dr Andrew Ferrone will give an update on climate science, followed by a workshop. (Andrew Ferrone is a climatologist and the representative of Luxembourg on the IPCC and the COP25).

On 17 October we organised a lunchtime conference with guest speaker, renowned Guardian journalist George Monbiot, who delivered a strong message about EU agricultural and fisheries policies and made a powerful case for the restoration of ecosystems. The audience was also moved by the intervention of several youth from ChildPress Climate Brussels. Their determination and knowledge, their willingness to act was a strong reminder of the importance of our collective responsibility. Before showing a short movie on their participation in climate marches, they made it clear they want to engage with EU officials on more than simply satisfactory progress in plastic recycling. Watch the video here.

7th plenary meeting, 15/10/2019 discussed in a participatory workshop draft recommendations of our Working Group on the Institutional Footprint (on reducing emissions from canteens, business trips and buildings).

Our shared platform on Connected is now open to all institutions! This will be our main working tool, if you don’t have access just let us know by sending an email to, 13/10/2019.

Rise for Climate Belgium gathering 22/09/2019: On 22 September we had the first public appearance for EUstaff4climate! On behalf of the group, Piotr Rapacz, gave a speech at the Rise for Climate Belgium gathering, along with other civil society organisations. He stressed that EU civil servants have also civic obligations as citizens and parents, and outlined the main points of the EUStaff4Climate petition addressed to the EU leaders. He concluded by saying that “We are committed as civil servants to act in the public interest, and saving the planet is the biggest public interest there is”. You can watch Piotr’s full intervention here. Piotr was also interviewed by Euronews, see extracts in this article.

Global Climate Strike 20/09/2019: On 20 September a group of around 200 EU staff from across all the EU institutions marched in the global Climate Strike demanding urgent actions to deal with the planetary climate, ecological and social crisis. See some pictures and videos here, here, here and here! It t was also the first time we appeared in a number of EUstaff4climate T-shirts. As those are in high demand, a new order has been passed: come to our next plenary meeting on 15 October to have them, first come first served (no orders possible)! And this time, all in organic cotton!

6th Plenary meeting, 5/09/2019

EUStaff4Climate discussion paper, 6/09/2019 published

Meeting with scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, 5/09/2019:

Sobering, inspiring and motivating discussion with eminent scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. See photos and videos here.

See our comprehensive Discussion Paper for systemic analysis & supporting evidence on climate and environmental emergency.

10 000 signatures for the EUStaff4Climate Petition, 26/08/2019

Launch of EUStaff4Climate Petition to EU leaders, 20/06/2019:

We launched our petition to incoming leaders of the EU institutions on the climate and ecological emergency from EU members of staff in their individual/private capacity. And a big success from the begining: almost 1900 signatures during the first 24 hours!

Global Strike for Future, 24/05/2019:

EUStaff4Climate participated in the Global Strike for Future 2 in Brussels. See photos here.

Participatory workshop to discuss strategy, 20/05/2019

2nd Plenary meeting, 7/05/2019

1st open meeting (Plenary), 4/04/2019:

First discussion open to everybody concerned about climate and environmental emergency (and working in the EU institutions), to discuss on our vision, objectives and future actions.

5th Belgian Rise for Climate March, 30/03/2019:

EUstaff4climate joined the 5th Rise for Climate in Brussels! See pictures here.

Global Strike for Climate, 15/03/2019 : Over 100 members of staff from the EU institutions marched together with 45.000 others through the streets of Brussels. We came together because of our common concern about climate change. Banners, posters, stickers, lyrics – nothing was planned and yet everyone thought of something ! The message was loud and clear – we need to wake up and we need to act now. Thank you to everyone who joined ! See some pictures and videos.

EUstaff4Climate launched (March 2019): We are a group of members of staff from the European institutions who are concerned about climate change and our future, and the future of the next generations. We believe that EU staff should be more actively involved in tackling the greatest threat to humanity of our lifetime. Therefore we, in our individual capacity, support:
– the global Youth for Climate movement for action against climate change;
– more ambitious objectives and urgent action to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Our group includes staff from the European Commission, European Parliament, European Council, Committees and EU agencies.