2023 – A Brief Review Before the Break

Below is the editorial from our latest newsletter, released Thursday 21st December. You can sign up to it here.  

Hello dear readers,

As this year comes to a close, it’s hard to know what to think about life, the universe and everything. One thing is for sure, ‘the end of history’ –  that didn’t materialise.

Instead we have the appalling vista of military matters and civilian deaths dominating the news, along with climate and biodiversity breakdown, and worryingly regressive trends threatening the inclusive Europe many imagined was growing.

As this institutional mandate winds down, towards Parliamentary elections in the coming year, we can see how so little of the farm to fork strategy has survived the onslaught of the powerful Brussels lobby. 

We’ve covered that in detail for the year, with one of the only bright sparks really being the Nature Restoration Law (NRL). While the final plenary is yet to come, and while the final text is not what it might have been, the NRL at least saw a wide mobilisation of people campaign and – more or less – win.

No other topic this year both polarised and united people quite like the NRL. In this, it was sadly emblematic of the western world  we inhabit: everything, it seems, can be a point of division, spin and fear mongering.

In our newsletter we’ve selected what we hope represents our year in ARC and the current phase in the news cycle. Our new CAP report, the positivity of our Marburg gathering, the latest news on farm to fork elements, (new GMOs, the NRL, the SUR, animal welfare legislation), an aspect of the amazing work of (now Dr). Matteo Metta on digitalisation and agriculture, and stories from Denmark and Czech on land and technology respectively. 

As for 2024 and beyond, who knows what it will hold? So many of the seismic occurrences of the 2020’s were difficult to predict. In our little corner of the world, we can ask will the new GMO/NGT legislation run out of time? Will the pesticide regulation (SUR) somehow survive? Will the NRL get past that final hurdle of plenary in February?  

More broadly what of Ukraine, the EU, and its impact on CAP? And the wider world of conflict, the rising far right, migration and ecological catastrophe? 

I don’t know. But I do know I’ll try to work from a place of gratitude for what I have, for the good things I’m blessed to be surrounded by. I’ll try to see the best in people. I’ll feel grief for the suffering that’s so present.

And I’ll cry. For the people still buried under rubble, and those about to be. 

Sometimes, amid the absurdity of it all, I’ll manage to laugh at this or that, incredulously, in exasperation –  a gallows cackle, at the absurdity of it all. Maybe you will too.

A better world is possible, It’s just hard to see  – and make – sometimes. But try we must, to stay human.

In love and solidarity

Dr. Oliver Moore

Editor-in-Chief and Communications Director ARC2020

Sign up to our newsletter – it helps you stay away from social media!