Latest from EU Member States

Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part III

Rural Hungary has been Viktor Orbán’s ticket to three terms in power. With the April 2022 elections approaching, is there a chance for emancipation from authoritarian populist rule to arise from this very same countryside? Drawing on original research, PĂ©ter JĂłzsef Bori and NoĂ©mi Gonda argue that by reforming our ways of producing food, we can also initiate a radical reform of the undemocratic systems that govern us. Final installment of an exclusive three-part series. […]

Latest from key partners

Rocky Road – EU Regs, Deforestation and a Just Transition for Smallholders

After “organic,” “non-GMO,” or even “palm-oil free,” there may be a new label coming to products for EU consumers: “Deforestation-free.” But might there be unintended consequences for some of the world’s poorest smallholders, who also happen to be those least responsible for climate breakdown? Ashley Parsons and Oliver Moore report. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part II

Our second installment here explains how Orbán and his FIDESZ party backtracked on their promises after their election in 2010. What followed is a decade of land grabbing, destructive agricultural transformation and the alienation of Hungary’s last smallholders – all while maintaining the image of a pro-peasant government. Original research by PĂ©ter JĂłzsef Bori and NoĂ©mi Gonda. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part I

In Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, the rural vote will have a crucial role to play in the upcoming April elections. Orbán has been milking farmers’ grievances for over a decade. Have the nation’s smallholders had enough? Revealing the findings of new research, PĂ©ter JĂłzsef Bori and NoĂ©mi Gonda track the progress of feudal dynamics in the Hungarian countryside. First in a three-part series. […]

Latest from the ARC network

Rural Europe Takes Action | Creative Municipalities

“Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual”, the new book by ARC2020 and Forum Synergies, launches on Tuesday 7 June. As we count down to the launch, today we share another extract from the book: the story of a creative municipality that is bringing people into agri-food policymaking. From the story of PlessĂ© and other stories, our book draws action points for policymakers on supporting local and circular economies. Below we summarise those action points, and then dive into a conversation with AurĂ©lie MĂ©zière, Mayor of PlessĂ©. […]

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A Just and Green CAP and Trade Policy in and Beyond the EU – Part 2

Trade liberalisation enforced by the WTO, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and several bilateral trade agreements largely contributed to the current economic instability in agriculture, but also to the climate and biodiversity crises. Family farmers in the EU and the Global South face unstable low prices and lose access to their land because of priority to export-led production. […]

Latest from EU Member States

France| Keeping The Wolf From The Door

French farmers aren’t against wolves. Large predators have their role to play in the ecosystem. But with wolf poulations on the rise in many regions, livestock farmers are demanding more supports from the state to keep the wolf from the door. ValĂ©rie Geslin reports from Salon Ă  la Ferme in the French Alps. […]

Kétharmados FIDESZ többség és a magyar mezőgazdaság- vajon fenn tudja tartani Orbán a gazdák szimpátiáját?

Orbán Viktor Ă©s a Fidesz-KDNP koalĂ­ciĂłja immár negyedik alkalommal nyert választást kĂ©tharmados többsĂ©ggel. A választási tĂ©rkĂ©pen tisztán látszik, hogy a Fidesz a vidĂ©ki választĂłkerĂĽletekben hozta a legnagyobb sikereket. Hogyan tudta Orbán Viktor megtartani a vidĂ©ki szavazatokat, amikor az elmĂşlt Ă©vtized agrárpolitikájának központjában a vidĂ©ki fellendĂĽlĂ©s Ă­gĂ©retĂ©nek folyamatos megszegĂ©se áll? Milyen hatással lesz a magyar vidĂ©kre mĂ©g nĂ©gy Ă©v Fidesz Ă©s a globális politikai Ă©s gazdasági válság, amiben folytatják kormányzásukat? És vajon Orbán Viktor fenn tudja tartani látszĂłlagos gazdaközpontĂş orientáltságát? […]

Latest from EU Member States

France | Why Did Le Pen Reap Record Numbers of Rural Votes?

Europe let out a sigh of relief on Sunday night with the announcement of Emmanuel Macron’s victory over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen for the French Presidency. But since her previous bid in 2017, Le Pen’s popularity has increased steadily, especially in rural France. Does her growing appeal point to a rejection of Macron’s techno-solutionism and the failures of his first term? What does it tell us about rural attitudes to Europe? Analysis by Ashley Parsons. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Hungary | Electoral Win for Orbán – can he keep up pro-farmer façade?

This weekend Hungarians voted Viktor Orbán’s FIDESZ party into a fourth consecutive term in government. What is the secret to Orbán’s continued popularity with rural voters, when he has been breaking promises to them for more than a decade? How will this new parliamentary majority for FIDESZ affect agriculture, farmers and rural areas in the midst of global political and economic turmoil? Analysis by PĂ©ter JĂłzsef Bori. […]

Main stories

Ukraine | Connecting Rural Borderlands in the Carpathians

The Carpathian Civil Society Platform is gathering energy for change in the borderlands that connect Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. These remote mountainous areas have similar characteristics and face similar challenges, such as increasing poverty and social exclusion. With war moving closer to Western Ukraine, the platform’s work to connect civil society actors in the Carpathian mountains has taken on a renewed significance. Report by Sándor Köles, Chair of Carpathian Foundation-Hungary. […]

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Ukraine | Wheat, War and History

The breadbasket of Europe, Ukraine became famous for Turkey Red Wheat, a variety with good milling and baking qualities that does well in harsh winters. But Ukrainian farmers not only grew the grain that fed so many in Europe, the seeds became the life insurance of those fleeing the Russian empire in the 19th century. And that’s how Turkey Red Wheat came to the US where it is still grown today. […]

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More Food less Feed – Agriculture and the War on Ukraine

An appalling war on Ukraine has manifold impacts. The direct human cost is immense and incalculable. The impacts on the world’s agri-food trade and commodity systems will be huge. The 4 F’s  – fuel, feed, fertilizer and of course food are all heavily implicated. So what to do? Will Europe suspend progress on rerouting the food system towards more resilience, by doubling down into the worst aspects of these 4 F’s? Or can some aspects of a deeper iteration of food sovereignty emerge?  […]