Latest from Brussels

MEPs Mean Business on Live Exports

The European Parliament last week called on member states to step up enforcement of existing rules on protecting livestock during transport. MEPs are urging member states to ramp up spot checks, use tracking technology to monitor compliance, and apply tougher penalties for offenders. Transport times should be cut, but the preference is to phase out live exports altogether in favour of local slaughtering. And when animals are transported to non-EU countries, EU standards should be applied. […]

Latest from Brussels

Huge TTIP Leak – How Does Agriculture Fare?

Another leak has rocked the TTIP negotiations. The full extent of the demands from the US side for sacrifices to EU standards – especially in agriculture – are revealed. However – and despite the spin – major differences between the two sides are also exposed. Peter Crosskey has the details, with special reference to agriculture. […]

Latest from key partners

Peasant markets of Moldova – a treasure to be protected

By Ramona Duminicioiu, Eco Ruralis When it comes to food and agriculture, traveling through the Republic of Moldova takes you back in time, in the best way possible. Eastern Europe still shelters a great number of peasants, which provide direct access to healthy and organic food for consumers. After joining the EU, Romania started privatising peasant markets, implementing sanitary norms by unrealistic standards, which diminished the quality of food and the number of local producers. So I wanted to visit the central peasant market from Chișinău – the capital city of Moldova, since I started planning my travel in the summer. I was hoping to find what Romania lost in the last 9 years of implementing the Common Agricultural Policy. My expectations were far exceeded. Chișinău central market is a vivid example of how peasants can feed very well the city people. With 4596 stalls, and 722 boutiques, the Central Market of Chisinau is the largest open market in the region. Once you are there, you will discover markets within the market. The peasant market […]

Latest from Brussels

Milk crisis: 3 Reasons why the Commission are at Fault

ARC2020 exclusive: Part one two by André Pfimlin, translated from French by ARC2020’s Samuel Feret and Peter Crosskey. In part one, Andre outlines the milk crisis: part two, to be released tomorrow morning, suggests solutions. #MilkCrisis   “Since the long term market perspectives are good for animal products and since Europe has significant potential for growing milk production, we should produce more and export more”, said European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. “We must accelerate the modernisation and consolidation of livestock farmholdings to make them more productive and more competitive”, a Copa-Cogeca vice-president said recently (1). In 2015, just like 2009, at the height of yet another milk crisis the line is the same out of Brussels, be it from the European Commission or Copa-Cogeca. For our policymakers, dreaming of unlimited export trade for decades to come, the short-term volatility of world prices takes a back seat. It is down to the livestock farmers to anticipate market volatility and either build up reserves when prices are high or take out private insurance policies. So there will be […]

Latest from EU Member States

EU Trade Secrets Directive Threatens Investigative Media

Written by: Claire Bernardin, Land Rights intern at Eco Ruralis; additional content via Corporate Europe Observatory. “Soon, journalists and their sources could be sued by companies if they reveal what these companies want to keep secret. Unless we react to defend the investigative work of journalists and, by extension, the right for citizen to be informed. Under the alibi of the fight against industrial espionage, the European Parliament is preparing a new massive weapon against journalism,”trade secrets”, whose definition allows not less then an unprecedented censorship in Europe.” That’s according to the petition launched by Elise Lucet, a French investigative journalist, which is  approaching half a million signatures. It all started on November 28th 2013 when the Commission submitted a draft proposal aiming to homogenise the definition of a trade secret throughout the EU. This would fight economic and industrial espionage by protecting companies against the unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure of the aforementioned trade secrets, thus enhancing competitiveness in the Union. However, voices arose among civil society to denounce the dangerous vagueness of the bill. […]