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EP vote on CAP reform: lack of social legitimacy

13 March 2013

At a time when the financial and economic crisis is resulting in significantly increases in both unemployment and poverty, the fact of granting 80% of funding to big farms is a bad signal that will fail to draw taxpayers any closer to the European Union.

CAP reform: The European parliamentarians have voted for a Europe of annuities: Where is the social legitimacy of this? Contrary to the communication message released by the European Parliament following the CAP reform vote, the CAP will be neither more equitable, nor much greener, nor more capable of guaranteeing food security, if the final decision follows the position taken by the Parliament. The refusal to lower the symbolic threshold of the ceiling, proposed at 300.000€ per farm by the European Commission, is an insult to tax-payers, to the European Court of Auditors, and to the millions of small- and medium-sized farms that receive less than 20% of the CAP funds. At a time when the financial and economic crisis is resulting in significantly increases in both unemployment and poverty, the fact of granting 80% of funding to big farms is a bad signal that will fail to draw taxpayers any closer to the European Union. The Parliament approved the deregulation of markets as proposed by the Commission with just a few small modifications. This is the opposite of providing food security for the European Union. Extending sugar quotas and planting rights for vine-growers is a credit to parliamentarians. It would be far better to take preventive action and avoid sectorial crises by regulating markets than taking curative measures with insurances; it would also cost far less. As far as the environmental legitimacy of direct payments is concerned, the very pale greening voted through by the European Parliament is sadly not a reflection of the measures needed to combat climate change, or to deal with the stakes of biodiversity, soil and water. Large-scale factory farms and greenhouses will continue to develop, to the detriment of the environment, quality and working conditions. European parliamentarians are elected by the citizens of Europe; nevertheless they seem to be listening more closely to the voices of the agribusiness. Will our Ministers prove to be more far-sighted next week when they take their position on the CAP reform? Spokespersons ECVC : Geneviève Savigny + 33 625551687; Hanny Van Geel +31 613903434 Press Contact ECVC: Marzia Rezzin +32 473300156

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