During the grand finale of the Good Food March in Brussels last week, three of the organisations behind the EU-wide civil society initiative spoke to Ed Bray, from viEUws – the EU policy broadcaster. In the three interviews below, representatives from ARC2020, Friends of the Earth Europe and Slow Food (3 of the 8 initiator organisations) explain why citizens, farmers and young people from across Europe have been mobilizing in recent months, and discuss the changes they want to see in the CAP.
Benedikt Haerlin, ARC2020 outlines the need for a real CAP reform, highlighting three key issues. Firstly the need to defend the right of farmers, and ensure that no more are lost. Secondly, the need to ensure that environmental damage is prevented, particularly when talking about the use of public money. And thirdly, the need to ensure greater equity between countries within Europe, but also worldwide. The CAP budget is also dicussed, along with the role of all MEPs (not just those in the Agriculture Committee) in ensuring that citizens are represented in this round of reform.
Stanka Becheva, Friends of the Earth Europe, focuses on the environmental issues that need to be addressed within the CAP, and ways in which to address global challenges such as climate change, scarcity of resources and biodiversity loss. Speaking about the 3 new measures proposed by the Commission in order to ‘green’ direct payments, she suggests that although they are a step in the right direction, there is still a risk that they might be watered down. Examples of alternative approaches to farming that would ensure diversity and sustainability are also provided.
Finally, Carlo Bogliotti, Slow Food discusses the social and health aspects of the CAP reform, outlining the urgent need for a younger, fairer and more sustainable agriculture. Reflecting on the Commissioner’s call for greater legitimacy, he suggests that citizens and tax payers in Europe continue to lack awareness of the size and use of the CAP budget.
All three interviews were held during the Good Food Brunch which took place at Esplanade Solidarnosc 1980 on September 19th. Following the Brunch, a conference organised by Slow Food and ARC2020 was held inside the Parliament, under the patronage of Martin Schulz. You can read more about the conference: CAP Reform 2020 – an Opportunity for European Democracy here.