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The CAP reform does not meet the needs for regulation, social fairness, legitimacy

19 November 2008

Whereas we are facing 5 global systemic crisis, which come together into an explosive or, say, a radically reforming cocktail, the EU has chosen a CAP reform in the same line as the previous ones, as if nothing had happened.

Common Agriculture Policy- « health check » decision:

The reform does not meet the needs for regulation, social fairness, legitimacy. The EU Agricultural Council used an out of fashion proposal, unsuited to the current context and the one of 2013.

However hunger (one habitant out of 6), the financial bankruptcy and the serious economic crisis to come, global warming, the disappearance of biodiversity, the twilight of fossil energies have blown the final whistle for the “free”-trade ideology – imposed as doctrinaire approach for several decades.

When the less interventionist governments nationalize big banks for saving them from their turpitude, when they call for more financial and economical regulation, why to continue to do the contrary with the CAP?

Why to persist in raising yearly the milk production, whereas the EU produces more than its consumption, the demand decreases, and the milk farm prices decrease?

Why to persist in eliminating the milk quotas whereas we need just to improve them, to make them fairer and without commercial value? Producers need stable markets with fair prices, otherwise countryside will be empty of farmers.

Why to refuse to put a ceiling per farmer to the direct payments, and at the same time to eliminate the direct payments of the very small-scale farms? Is that the right way to give more legitimacy to the direct payments in the eyes of the taxpayers?

If one wants to simplify the management of direct payments, why not a lump sum for all farms currently below some threshold? It would be a clear signal of recognition for these million multifunctional small-scale farms which make much more countryside vibrant than the large farms which monopolize the direct payments.

Whereas the Court of Auditors of the EU has just denounced on November 10th the “disproportionate” level of errors in the management of the rural development programs, the transfer of more funds from the first to the second pillar does not guarantee that these funds are really used for a socially and ecologically sustainable rural development. On the other hand, every time the 2nd pillar supports a product which will be exported, it takes part in the bleaching of the EU dumping, these funds being put in the green box of the WTO. It is the same for the decoupled payments of the first pillar. We need coherent agricultural and rural development policies, not simple instrumental gymnastics which tries without success to mislead third countries.

The French Presidency which, rightly, activated the debate on the CAP 2013, will not have done anything to bring the health check on the way of an agriculture more sustainable, more autonomous and more sparing of inputs. The house burns,…but productivism goes on….

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