The European Commission said it was proposing reforms for Europe's common agriculture policy that called for a stronger focus on environmental protection.
Dacian Ciolos, the European agriculture commissioner, said the reform polices needed to be "greener, fairer, more efficient and more effective," the EUobserver quoted him as saying.
Though some environmental advocates said the reforms could be nothing more than "window dressing," most welcomed the focus on green development.
But Padraig Walshe, the president of Copa-Cogeca, the European farmers' union, said the proposals could mean more costs for farmers in the European Union.
"The only concrete proposal in the (EU policy) paper is to add more costly burdens onto EU farmers," he was quoted as saying.
European agriculture officials meet to discuss the proposal at the end of November.