With one fist in the air and the other hand on the land, from Europe we join the international chorus this April 17, affirming that Peasant Rights are only possible with Agrarian Reform and Social Justice. In Europe this implies, in part, a small-farmer reform of land management and control.
PRESS RELEASE Brussels, 17 April 2019 - With one fist in the air and the other hand on the land, from Europe we join the international chorus this April 17, affirming that Peasant Rights are only possible with Agrarian Reform and Social Justice. In Europe this implies, in part, a small-farmer reform of land management and control. Otherwise, the incredibly high level of land concentration in the region, where 2.7% of farms control 50% of arable land, will continue to intensify, and the agroindustrial model will continue to be promoted, leaving behind it a trail of social conflict, labour exploitation, destruction of the environment, damage to health and rural poverty. The question of land is key in the framework of peasant rights and within the struggle for Food Sovereignty. That is why ECVC continues to fight for land reform in Europe. More precisely, a European Land Tenure Directive is needed in accordance with, on the one hand, Article 17 of the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, recently adopted at the United Nations, and, on the other hand, based on the Land Tenure Guidelines endorsed by the UN Committee on World Food Security. A reform of the current orientation of the CAP (European Common Agricultural Policy) becomes, in this sense, a top priority. The subsidies coming from it favor land concentration, big farms, while it marginalizes the small farmers. Furthermore, by sky rocketing the price of land, the current CAP de facto blocks the access to new entrants. In this context of profound inequality, to protect land commodification and grabbing for the purpose of speculation, states criminalize and repress the alternative use of abandoned farms and villages by young landless peasants who are enthusiastic about setting up another model of agriculture and society to feed themselves and us. Staying true to the legacy of the 19 comrades of the MST murdered in Eldorado dos Carajás (Brazil), 23 years ago, on this International Day of Peasant Struggle we strengthen our clamor and struggle in defense of peasants around the world.