Are you driven by a passion for policy? Do you want to work in Brussels, at the cutting edge of agri-food, rural and environmental politics and decision-making? Do you want to have a say in making European farming and food policy really working for people and planet?
ARC2020 – The Agricultural and Rural Convention has worked on the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) since 2010. Run by a small team and guided by an international group of board members, ARC runs the leading independent and NGO-oriented website on this issue. ARC carries out research, publishes regular content and organises debates and events on key CAP-related issues. ARC is now hiring a full time position to work on two related areas: developing content on the CAP Strategic Plan Regulations; organising NGO and institutional networking around the national strategic plans implementing the next CAP.
1. Complete the last two parts of the CAP Strategic Plan series for the ARC website
Part 4: CAP | How to prepare Strategic Plan Regulations – stakeholder guidance
Part 5: CAP | A matrix’ proposal for designing CAP Strategic Plans
2. Animate a European network of national member organisations working on CAP Strategic Plans
- Strengthening connections with the organisations that we already have worked with at the national and European level. This includes national member organisations and platforms as well as coalitions like the Good Food Good Farming Campaign and the EU Food Policy Coalition.
- Broadening that network by reaching out to national member organisations involved in Strategic Plan formulation in other European countries.
- Hosting regular meetings (online and in-person) to exchange on what is happening at Member State level (e.g. how are national member organisations included in this process, what are the key moments and topics of intervention, what campaigns are planned, how can these organisations support each other, how can we as a ‘coalition of coalitions’ at the European level put pressure on Member States for ambitious Strategic Plans)
- Host 2-3 physical meetings to collectively continue this work over the course of the year.
- Attending events of relevance in Brussels, grassroots, NGO and also at the policy level.
- Watching and summarising livestreams of important meetings, such as AGRAFISH (Council of Minister) meetings.
- Regular coverage of this process in the form of articles and reports for the website.
- Work alongside coordinators of the EU Food Policy coalition and Good Food Good Farming to align campaigns.
- Build up and maintain Friends of the ARC, a geographically dispersed, interdisciplinary experts who guide and support ARC’s work (as Friends of the ARC).
- Maintain regular contact with individuals in these organisations to steer the direction of ARC: what questions or issues are pertinent to respond to at this moment?
- Lead annual reporting to funders and others where applicable.
- Help diversify funding streams.
- Help organise other events, or carry out other related communications tasks, if called upon by other staff or board members.
In summary, the ARC2020 CAP Animator would be a ‘bridger’ to connect our online work with what’s happening on-the-ground. This person would do outreach, networking and fundraising but also be an ambassador, a physical presence at events, regularly connecting and expanding ARC’s work.
Skills, Experience and Qualifications
- Strong, demonstrable commitment to the ARC’s vision.
- Excellent organisational and problem solving skills, meeting strict deadlines, attention to detail and coordination with international project partners.
- Strong interpersonal skills, self-organised, self-motivated, result-focused, diplomatic, team player.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French; proficient in German and/or one other European language.
- Post-graduate degree, preferably in agronomic, social/political sciences, or international relations.
- Significant knowledge of EU agri-food policy.
What we offer
- One-year full-time contract with the potential for further years, subject to funding. (we are open to discuss a part-time contract or a job share).
- Based in Brussels with frequent travel to France and Germany.
- Flexible work hours with possibility for some work to be remote/home based.
- Flat management structures with short and fast decision making.
- Salary: depending on seniority/ work experience.
CV, two page motivation letter in English up until C.O.B. 15th December 2019 to email@example.com
A PDF version of this job offer is available here: Animator job description
No phone inquiries please
Interviews will take place at ARC office Brussels or via video conference early-mid January.
Starting date: no later than 1st March, earlier if possible.
Agricultural and Rural Convention 2020 (ARC2020)
38, rue Saint-Sabin
Background on ARC2020
ARC2020 – The Agricultural and Rural Convention – was founded in 2010 as a European network of NGOs and individuals working for a profound reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and sustainable agriculture. As a political platform of over 150 organisations, ARC drafted and adopted a “Communication from Civil Society to the EU” with a broad range of common demands and suggestions for a paradigm shift towards sustainable farming and food policies.
Since 2016, ARC has been an independent European NGO that has continued through this website to provide news, features and analysis on agri-food and rural policy, with a particular emphasis on agroecology, while also providing insights and analysis on the shifted governance of agricultural and rural policies from the EU level towards renationalisation. ARC initiates and supports common European visions, debates and campaigns for a political and practical turnaround in agriculture and food. The ARC website, social media and regular newsletters offer up-to-date political and scientific analyses and practical experience in times that require civil, political and professional commitment at all levels.
ARC’s topics & fields of action
ARC already covers a wide range of topics in the field of its own analyses, current articles and the organisation of European debates. These include climate, water and soil protection, promotion of agroecological practices and organic farming, biodiversity, phasing out pesticide use and genetic engineering, but also access to land and support for newcomers and small businesses, rural development, and democratisation of agricultural policy and access to food. With the digitisation and expected intensification of agriculture, the risk also rises that more and more small farms will cease to exist and that large investors will determine the direction of agriculture. Critical analysis of these trends is therefore urgently needed.
One difficulty, however, is to communicate this broad spectrum of issues and challenges in such a way that we can reach and animate our wide network of supporters and potential actors and build the necessary pressure for a turnaround in agriculture at national and European level.
ARC’s Mobilisation and coordination work
Only a broad and well-coordinated network of NGOs and activists can take action against the reform standstill in Brussels and against business as usual in the member states. The ARC team intends to work more closely with partners at European and national level. This includes the associations and alliances in Brussels as well as the national ones.
The ARC team and the ARC board are only able to provide a certain level of analyses, articles and publications. Clever and creative coordination and mobilisation of a wide range of actors, in Brussels and all over Europe, is even more necessary now. This is especially the case with the elaboration of the CAP national strategic plans.
Towards a new strategic common farm policy?
CAP 2030 – The new initiative of the EU Commission for a reform of the EU agricultural policy, which was presented to the Parliament and the Council in 2018, contains no proposals for an agricultural turnaround. Rather, it is an administrative and structural reform that gives the Member States more room for manoeuvre and responsibility in shaping farm policy. Although it identifies key challenges such as the climate crisis, the rapid loss of biodiversity and soil fertility, effective measures are largely left to the Member States.
With the proposed reform of the CAP, the EU Commission requires the Member States to draw up so-called “Strategic Plans” in which they can choose from a menu of possible measures to tackle the problems mentioned. The Commission is supposed to assess and approve these plans and monitor their implementation.
However, the legal framework and the assessment criteria at EU level are so weak that it is unlikely that there will be a shift towards climate protection, biodiversity supports, rural regeneration or and animal welfare-friendly agriculture. Even if the newly elected Parliament and the Council have not yet approved this reform, the direction and content for the coming years seem to be largely fixed.
ARC’s role in the coming decade
ARC 2030 – The coming decade will be decisive. There is an urgent need for a just transition response to the climate crisis, and for establishing the conditions for sustainable agriculture in rural Europe as part of this.
The political vision for ARC remains a European one, but takes into account the new conditions for agricultural change at the national (Member State) level. We must be able to strengthen common agri-environmental requirements for the Member States at the European level and, at the same time, enshrine the necessary measures and criteria for an agricultural turnaround in the strategic plans of the Member States.
For many foundations, NGOs and media, ARC is the source of political analysis and up-to-date information that provides the necessary support for national lobbying to committed national NGOs and farmer organisations. But it is also important that we ensure strong networking and exchange of good political and agricultural practice at the European level. A core function of ARC then, is to communicate the broad spectrum of issues and challenges to reach and animate our wide network of supporters and potential actors, and to build the necessary pressure for a just transition in agriculture at national and European level – one that works for farmers, citizens and the living world.