Latest from EU Member States

Rural dialogues – Let’s talk!

Introducing our next debate series – rural dialogues. What is the state of play for rural Europe? Are rural places still lagging behind – forgotten, disadvantaged and in need of extra supports? Or is there a rural renaissance of sorts occurring, from smart villages to innovation hubs? Tell us what you know and let’s get talking! […]

Latest from EU Member States

The Great Polish Land Grab | Part 1

There has been unrest in rural communities across Poland for some years. Land prices have increased dramatically and despite a moratorium on foreign land purchasing, foreign entities have found a way to buy land. Polish farmers are despairing and protesting en masse. Hans Wetzels reports from Poland on land grabbing. […]

Latest from Brussels

Important Access to Land Consultation Closing Soon

Progress is being made towards land access – and against land concentration – in the EU, with a consultation by the Finance Directorate General.You can read the DG FISMA consultation document and submit your own feedback. Closing date for submissions is very soon – the 7th July. […]

Main stories

Does peasantry pay the price for a more European Turkey?

By Asutay Meriç, Agrobiodiversity Campaign Intern at Eco Ruralis Following a contentious and  controversial election in Turkey politicians seem to continuously highlight that Turkey is Europe’s first and the World’s 7th largest agricultural producer. Roughly 80% of the hazelnut production, and most  of the fruit and veg that is exported into the EU comes from Turkey. These figures sound impressive. However, for the last decade Turkish peasantry which holds nearly two-thirds of the Turkish farms has been the poorest segment of the society. Their political, economical and cultural rights are constantly violated by the ruling Government itself. According to the Turkish National Institute of Statistics (TNIS) (pdf), agriculture makes up 8,4% of the national income and 25 % of the employment. Its 38.6 million hectares of utilized agricultural land has a segmented structure where an average plot size has around 5 hectares. Turkey, an EU candidate country for more than 15 years, has a very large utilized agricultural areas compared to other European countries. Having such a strong rural base, the country has always been […]

Latest from EU Member States

Working for Land Rights in Romania

By Attila Szocs, Eco Ruralis Land Rights Campaigner Land grabbing in Romania is reaching a blatant level but mobilisation against it is scaling up too. On the 26-27th of September, 2015, Eco Ruralis hosted in Cluj Napoca the first meeting of a newly established Working Group on the Right to Land. During the gathering, Eco Ruralis members and supporters debated important land related problems faced by peasants and agroecological food producers: lack of transparency behind large land acquisitions, equitable access to land for young and future farmers and land policies oriented towards land concentration. The meeting specified future collaboration by the group in order to intervene on the issue of land grabbing and fair access to land in Romania. Defining land grabbing generated an interesting debate inside the group. Several criteria were raised, taking into consideration quantitative and qualitative indicators of what is a land grab. First of all, we noted the duality of the Romanian countryside, where more than half of the available lands are cultivated by small farmers, while the other part is controlled by companies and other actors. This obviously opens up […]

Latest from EU Member States

Challenges & opportunities of moving agroecology east

  Written By: Stella Beghini, Agrobiodiversity Campaign Intern for Eco Ruralis  At the recent International Forum on Agroecology held in Mali, delegates of peasants and many other groups from all over the world strongly addressed the roots of the crisis concerning our natural and social systems. They claimed agroecology as the real solution to reach environmental justice. The challenges and opportunities of how agroecology can be achieved in Eastern Europe is essential to growing this international movement. The Nyéléni Center in the Malian village of Sélingué held its first Forum in 2007 where food sovereignty was first conceptualized as a holistic approach and vision to agrarian justice. Fast forward to 2015, another meeting of diverse and united groups of peasants, indigenous people, fisherman, agricultural workers and others was held to work on reaffirming agroecology as the solution to mend our broken food and social systems. The delegates pointed out the many challenges that peasants around the world are facing nowadays: the loss of control over natural resources, land and whole knowledge systems that are the basis of our traditions and […]