On July 13th, the European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) jointly with with Terre de Liens were received by the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions to present the petition “Preserving and managing farmland as our common wealth” submitted in February 2015 and signed by around 80 organisations from across Europe.
The hearing did not last longer than 30 minutes and the presentation itself lasted only 5 minutes, but it was just enough to reaffirm the urgency of how farmland is used and managed and introduce our demands. You can find ECVC’s and Terre de liens’ full statement here.
The petition highlights how access to land is denied by multiple factors and the alarming rate at which farmland is disappearing throughout Europe- facts that make the EU among the most unequal zones in terms of land distribution.
To face this problem, farmer and other civil society organisations are asking, among other things, the institutions of the European Union to adopt a new Directive on land based on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land in the context of food security, as well as to radically reform the direct payments of the CAP and that the impact of EU policies affecting land use and allocation be reviewed.
A lively debate followed. Emphasizing what it had already declared in a written question, the European Commission representative present at the hearing welcomed the petition and recognized that several elements can be addressed at EU level -for instance land use- and that the issue needs to be further analyzed and monitored. That being said, for the EC representatives at this event, land and land use already play a very important role in the CAP.
During the discussion, MEPs Maria Heubuch, Eleonora Evi and Maria Noichl welcomed and supported the requests conveyed by the petition, each MEP sharing a unique perspective on the matter. Long-awaited, there is now much hope that in the coming months the issue of land and farming will receive greater attention in the EU’s political agenda.
Marta di Pierro : (BE) +32 22173112