European Parliament’s Dess Report adopted,
but falls behind expectations
On 25 May, the European Parliament’s Committee on Agricultural and Rural Development (COMAGRI), as expected, has adopted a report setting out its views on the CAP towards 2020. The committee found a compromise position on the huge differences between the political groups about the future of European farmers and rural regions and so avoided a false start into it newly-endowed co-decision powers. That is the good news.
The bad news is that the message is not sufficiently concrete or ambitious, and does not respond to the expectations of civil society as laid down in our ARC communication which was published in parallel with Commissioner Ciolos’s reform proposals last year. We are missing a clear statement by the Parliament on how the future Common Agricultural Policy will organise the urgently needed transition towards sustainable farming and food systems, with synergies between plant and animal production, good management of biodiversity, soils and water through crop rotation and a serious reduction of non-renewable inputs like fertilisers, pesticides and oil-based fuels in the production of food and raw materials.
There are substantial improvements in the report since it was published in February this year. The Committee now endorses stepwise reductions of payments for large farms, specific
support for small farmers, local food chains and support for producers’ organisations so that farmers get a fair deal from the market.
Nevertheless, ARC and its member organisation hope and call for a significant improvement of the report in the upcoming vote in plenary which is scheduled for 23 June.
A provisional version of the consolidated Dess report following the committee vote can be downloaded here. The final version can be found soon on the European Parliament’s website in the specific dossier on the Dess report.