Go to

Home / News and events / News / On the CAP 2013 Communication of the European Commission

On the CAP 2013 Communication of the European Commission

18 November 2010

Here is our opinion on the communication of the European Commission :

The improvements suggested regarding the distribution of the direct payments are positive, but their range is limited since the 'free'-trade framework and 'competitiveness' on the international markets remain the backbone of the CAP. Farmers will remain with neither fair prices, nor a fair income.

As Dacian Ciolos recognized at the ECVC conference of October 27th, the European Union is limited in the internal tools it can employ because it considers the context of global competition of farmers and of agricultural production to be an intangible fact that it does not wish to modify; this is despite the warnings delivered by the agricultural and food crises in both the North and the South.

This reform has the correct alignment regarding the big challenges to face up to in terms of food security, biodiversity, climate change and maintenance of the rural landscape. However, the European Commission proves to be unable to outline proposals attacking the “free”-trade roots of these crises. This is worrying for the future of the European countryside and for farmers, who will remain with neither a fair price, nor a fair income.

The Commission proposes to adapt to price volatility instead of fighting it - by managing supply and regulating markets.

The Commission frequently uses the word “competitiveness”. But what competitiveness does it mean? Can one speak about the competitiveness of a farm if public support is included? The majority of European farms sell their products at prices below their production costs: as a result they are not competitive with respect to world prices, and they never will be as long as wage differences with so many third countries remain so large (1). The EU Commission, thus, can not push to decrease production costs and prices of supply to agro-industry - whose market is the whole planet - whilst concurrently declaring that the European countryside should remain alive. Moreover, European and world prices at the end translate into local market prices.

However, let us recognize the positive proposals in this modified version of the present CAP, more specifically the changes in distribution of direct payments. European Coordination Via Campesina will support a capping of direct payments, and that care be taken that the level of capping is sufficient to be effective. We do not just propose to bind this ceiling to the number of people working on the farm, but also to bind all direct payments to the number of people working on the farm. European support must be related to people, not to hectares. We support the proposal for a specific payment for small-scale farms, which is justified by the positive multifunctional role that they play in countryside.

European Coordination Via Campesina will soon publish a more detailed analysis of the Commission proposal.

(1) For example the minimum salary in Thailand is 70 times lower than in France

Contacts :

Geneviève Savigny (FR-EN) +33 625551687

Javier Sanchez (ES) +34 609 35 93 80

Gérard Choplin (FR-EN-DE) +32 473257378

Latest activity