Legume Futures scientists to provide advice to the European Parliament
Brussels, 29 January 2013
Today in Brussels, three members of the Legume Futures team met with staff of the European Parliament to discuss in detail the scope and priorities for the new study on the “Environmental role of protein crops in the new Common Agricultural Policy”. The contract for the study, which is commissioned by the Parliament to examine potential reform measures relevant to legume crops, has been awarded to Legume Futures team members Peter Zander, Moritz Reckling, Sara Preisel, Andrea Bues and Johann Bachinger (ZALF), Tom Kuhlmann (Wageningen), Christine Watson and Kairsty Topp (SRUC), Fred Stoddard (Helsinki) and Donal Murphy-Bokern.
The team will review the scientific evidence about the environmental effects of protein crops. The term ‘protein crop’ in this context means legume crops, and includes forage crops such as red clover as well as the grain legumes or ‘pulses’ such as peas and faba beans. The study theme is framed by the Commission’s proposals for the reform of the CAP that are currently being debated in the European Parliament and by the European Council.
This work for the Parliament builds directly on the wider and longer-term Legume Futures research work. Peter Zander (ZALF) who leads the new work: “Legume Futures will finish after the current CAP reform process is completed. This contract allows us to extract the knowledge relevant to the CAP reform process and focus it on the needs of policy-makers now – in advance of our main reporting work. It gives us a great opportunity to engage intensively with the reform process as it unfolds drawing on the work in Legume Futures but also adding additional analysis for the specific needs of the Parliament”.
As can be seen from their work so far, the Legume Futures-based study team is committed to using science to empower decision-making and inform public debate. This means they will convey in an accessible way an understanding of the key processes, impacts and policy options, rather than just provide a catalogue of researched facts and information.
In line with the increasing role of the European Parliament in EU legislation under the Treaty of Lisbon, the Parliament is strengthening its role in evidence-based policy development. This involves supporting the co-decision process with applied policy research and studies. This study was established by the Parliament using a competitive procurement process. The official reference is: Service contract IP/B/AGRI/IC/2012-067 (Study "The environmental role of protein crops in the new Common Agricultural Policy").