ECVC carried out last week a series of actions with the purpose of attaining a CAP more inclined to the interests of the People.
Given the revision process launched this year of the Common Agricultural Policy, the European Coordination Via Campesina carried out last week a series of actions with the purpose of attaining a CAP more inclined to the interests of the People. This included responding to the EC's questionnaire on the future of the CAP, talks with Phil Hogan's cabinet to fix a meeting with the Commissioner and meetings with DG Agri officials, the chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Siekierski, as well as several MEPs to clarify expectations and proposals in the CAP revision. Generational renewal and new farms, the development of an agricultural model with a positive impact on climate and the environment, the supply of a healthy and diverse diet for European citizens must inevitably involve fairer public policies which guarantee a stable and decent income for all farms, especially to those of smaller dimensions, which constitute the great majority of European farms. For this reason, Europe should not renounce - for ideological reasons – to tools that regulate markets and control production, thus influencing the price of products. Crisis prevention tools need to be introduced, rather than "safety nets" or insurances and futures contracts, which would further aggravate the situation of the agricultural and livestock sectors. The EU must restore the balance of aids by fixing a rate capping and redistributing it in a more equitable way, not based on hectares but rather on the people working on the farm, a hypothesis that the EC has put forward in one of the options of the evaluations planned. A policy committed to the installation of young and new farmers is needed; one that facilitates access to land, to means of production, to markets and that ensures the recognition of multiple forms of sustainable agriculture and livestock. Within the framework of the OMNIBUS regulation currently under negotiation, ECVC supports the possibility of introducing a limit on the amount of aid given. However, the peasant organization reiterates its opposition to the development of income insurance. These tools would drain an unreasonable amount of public money for the benefit of private insurance companies, without effective impact on the crisis and market volatility and without real benefits for farmers. It is also essential to define the active farmer with a European definition, based on the effective aspect of the work carried out, without excluding the multi-active and the small producers who truly depend on their agricultural activity to live. The voice of small and medium farmers was clearly and unambiguously heard last week. The interlocutors acknowledged the important role our peasants play in preserving the rural fabric, food quality, and how they are the best suited to respond to environmental challenges. The issue still remains, though, on finding the concrete measures for an effectively fair and sustainable European policy. *** Contact : Geneviève Savigny (Coordination Committee ECVC) : 0033 62 555 1687 - FR, EN, ES Jose Miguel Pacheco Goncalves (Coordination Committee ECVC) : 0035 19 6872 1995 - PT, ES