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European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) is a confederation of unions and organisations of peasant farmers, small and medium-scale farmers, and agricultural workers across Europe. We are currently composed of 31 national and regional peasant farmer organisations from 21 European countries.
Rooted in the right to Food Sovereignty, our main objective is the defence of farmers’ and field workers’ rights, promoting diverse and sustainable family and peasant farming. These principles in turn, demand food and agricultural policies based on legitimacy, fairness, solidarity and sustainability. These are necessary to ensure food security, food safety, public health, employment in rural areas and to tackle the issues of the global food crisis and climate change. We are fighting for a new and improved EU agricultural policy to be developed based on the above principles.
We are the only organisation at the EU level that soley and comprehensively represents the voice of peasant farmers. 31 organisations and unions of farmers and agricultural workers unite as members of ECVC. In this space, we consolidate our experiences, positions and best practices, to facilitate communication between peasant farmers and European and International policymakers. The ECVC space is critical to coordinate our responses and demonstrate ready-made solutions from across Europe, guaranteeing that peasant farmers are heard in EU and international policy processes.
Each member organisation works in diverse contexts and realities, but we are all united in fighting for better food systems by the principles of our found Common Base.
In 1986, after five years of continuous efforts, the process to bring European farmers’ organisations together culminated in the creation of the Coordination Paysanne Européenne (CEP).
The idea that farmers should be partners, not competitors, inspired a group of progressive farmers’ organisations to work together, seeking alternatives to productivism. After much preparation, these organisation met in Madrid on 4 December 1986 and officially established the CPE, by signing a common declaration. The new platform sought to:
Explain and denounce the consequences of agricultural policies (e.g. CAP) for the majority of farmers and consumers.
Put forward proposals for a new kind of agricultural policy to better serve farmers.
Act together with other social forces to promote this new agricultural policy.
Exchange experiences among member organisations to better understand each other’s situation and foster international solidarity with other countries.
From its beginnings, the new coalition took on major issues such as the CAP and the 1986 Uruguay Round of the GATT, which in 1994 would lead to the creation of the WTO. The voice of European peasant farmers soon became part of the public debate on agricultural policies in the European institutions.
In 2008, the organisations which were part of the Coordination Paysanne Européenne merged with the COAG (Coordination of Farmer and Livestock Owner Organisations from Spain) and other farmers’ organisations to form our current organisation, European Coordination Via Campesina.
Based on its belief in the need for unity and solidarity between farmers from the global North and global South, the CPE played an important role in the creation of La Via Campesina. In 1993, the CPE co-organised the global peasant farmers’ conference in Mons, Belgium—the founding event that launched La Via Campesina (LVC). For the following 3 years, the CPE hosted LVC’s rotating secretariat.
Our jobs and internships
See below for opportunities to work with us and our networks.
We regularly collaborate on projects with other social movements, academics, NGOs, and other civil society actors working in the areas of agricultural policy, food sovereignty, agroecology, and many more topics. Below you can find out more about our current or recent projects.
We continuously collaborate with national, regional, and international networks on different policy issues.
Nyéléni Europe and Central Asia Food Sovereignty Network is our main European network and La Via Campesina is our international network.
We have members in 21 countries across Europe. We bring our experience and knowledge from national and regional levels to European policy spaces through our membership and active participation in ECVC. We are the collective voice of European farmers, as all of the political work is done by us, as farmers and farmers’ organisations. Below you can find a list of our member organisations and links to each of our websites.
Arbeitgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL)
Associazione Italiana per l’Agricoltura Biologica (AIAB)
Associazione Rurale Italiana (ARI)
Biological Farming Association Elkana
Çiftçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu (ÇIFÇTI-SEN)
Confederacao National da Agricultura (CNA)
Confédération nationale des syndicats des exploitants familiaux (MODEF)
Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos (COAG)
Etelä-Suomen Luonnonmukaisen Viljelyn Yhdistys (Esvy-ry)
Fédération unie des groupements des éleveurs et agriculteurs (FUGEA)
Land worker’s alliance
Life HSPE – Hrvatski savez udruga ekoloških proizvođača
Mouvement International de Jeunesse Agricole Catholique (MIJARC-Europe)
Mouvement Action Paysanne (MAP)
Norske bonde-og Smabrukarlag (NBS)
Österreichische Bergbauernvereinigung (ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria)
Scottish Crofting Federation
Sindicato Labrego Galego (SLG)
Sindicatos de Obreros del Campo (SOC)
Zachodniopomorski Oddział EKOLAND
Život (LIFE) - Udruga obiteljskih poljoprivrednih gospodarstava Hrvatske
Our governance is based around the idea that social change is possible when right holders organise to reclaim and protect their rights. Our goal is to enable unified and coordinated actions by peasant farmer and agricultural worker organisations across Europe, to impact and reshape agricultural and food policies and protect and guarantee the rights of these actors as recognised by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas.
Our main decision-making body is the ECVC General Assembly, in which each member organisation has one vote. During the General Assembly, we adopt the strategic guidelines of the organisation and the budget and select a board (the Coordinating Committee, known as the CC). The General Assembly meets at least once per year to ensure democratic participation of our membership.
ECVC member organisations play a crucial role in the governance structure—together, members of each organisation appoint the CC and engage within the Working Groups and Articulations.
The Coordinating Committee acts as the political and legal representative body of the organisations between each General Assembly, and is responsible for implementing the strategic guidelines of the organisation. The CC is composed of 10 peasant farmers, with an equal gender balance, who are nominated by member organisations and elected by the GA.
We have a secretariat, located in Brussels, which supports ECVC members and the CC to implement decisions and in the administrative and financial management of our organisation.
Our work is organised around specific Working Groups (WG). We also have three cross-cutting horizontal articulations which aim to foster the equitable representation of women and youth, and gender and sexual diversities.