ARC NewsFlash 2 May 2011

Rural development and the linking of EU Funds

The CAP debate in Brussels: An inside view by Michael Dower

For the last year, ARC has been calling for the CAP post 2013 to be focused on a Paradigm shift in agriculture and a Rural Renaissance. We urged that the current second pillar of the CAP, which contains the rural development measures, should be succeeded by a true Rural Policy, and that this Policy should have a strong element of local delivery, building upon the LEADER experience but able to draw down funds not only from the CAP but also from the Regional, Social and Fisheries funds of the EU.

So, we were delighted when, in August last year, the Commissioners for Agriculture, Regions, Employment and Fisheries wrote a joint letter to the President of the Commission proposing that, from 2014 onwards, there should be a joint strategic framework for the rural, regional, cohesion, social and fisheries funds. In the ARC Communication, published in November 2010, we suggested how this link between the main developmental funds of the EU could be achieved at EU, national, regional and local level.

We now know that the Commission is thinking in the same way as us. At a Conference on 12-13 April, called by the Fisheries Directorate DG MARE, officials from the four directorates for Agriculture, Regions, Employment and Fisheries described the joint work that they are doing to clarify how the combined strategic framework proposed by the Commissioners might work in practice. They expect to propose that the principles in the framework should be reflected in harmonised Regulations for the four Funds, plus Common Guidance related to local development; that Member States should be required to produce national strategies with a scope parallel to that at EU Level;  and that the Operational Programmes for each Fund produced at national or regional level will then reflect the integrated purpose of the national strategy. [read more]

New opportunities for
common transatlantic action
Jim Harkness, Director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) in Minneapolis, USA, recently visited Brussels. He¬†believes that US and EU Civil Society¬†Organisations should¬†work together on CAP reform and US Farm Bill. He sent us the following message: “The European Union and US Congress face some similar challenges in re-writing farm legislation next year: volatile markets, depopulated and depressed rural areas, entrenched corporate and sectoral interests, competing demands for food and farmland. And we are contending as well with shrinking budgets.¬†The time is ripe for a strategic transatlantic conversation about how to defend and promote shared values of sustainability, food security and rural prosperity in these tough times.¬†¬†[read more]
“Free our seeds!”

International days of action
17-18th April 2011, Brussels

Two years ago the Seed Sovereignty movement launched the petition “Sowing the future, harvesting diversity” to protest against planned new EU seed laws that are dominated by the interests of the big seed companies.
Currently 10 multinational companies, including Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta, already control 67% of the world seed market. This corporate control been achieved through contracts with farmers growing GMOs, patents on plants and animals, introducing seed propagation fees, lawsuits against farmers breaching restrictive rules, using sterile hybrids to control propagation and banning landraces/local varieties of crops.
[read more]

Upcoming event

AGRARIA – International Trade Fair for Agriculture, Food Industry and Packaging

4 May 2011
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Romania, ,

Upcoming event

World Fair Trade Day 2011
 

14 May 2011
Worldwide

Upcoming event

EESC Conference:
23 May 2011 – 09:30
Brussels, Belgium

Rural development and the linking of EU Funds

The CAP debate in Brussels: An inside view by Michael Dower

For the last year, ARC has been calling for the CAP post 2013 to be focused on a Paradigm shift in agriculture and a Rural Renaissance. We urged that the current second pillar of the CAP, which contains the rural development measures, should be succeeded by a true Rural Policy, and that this Policy should have a strong element of local delivery, building upon the LEADER experience but able to draw down funds not only from the CAP but also from the Regional, Social and Fisheries funds of the EU.

So, we were delighted when, in August last year, the Commissioners for Agriculture, Regions, Employment and Fisheries wrote a joint letter to the President of the Commission proposing that, from 2014 onwards, there should be a joint strategic framework for the rural, regional, cohesion, social and fisheries funds. In the ARC Communication, published in November 2010, we suggested how this link between the main developmental funds of the EU could be achieved at EU, national, regional and local level.

We now know that the Commission is thinking in the same way as us. At a Conference on 12-13 April, called by the Fisheries Directorate DG MARE, officials from the four directorates for Agriculture, Regions, Employment and Fisheries described the joint work that they are doing to clarify how the combined strategic framework proposed by the Commissioners might work in practice. They expect to propose that the principles in the framework should be reflected in harmonised Regulations for the four Funds, plus Common Guidance related to local development; that Member States should be required to produce national strategies with a scope parallel to that at EU Level;  and that the Operational Programmes for each Fund produced at national or regional level will then reflect the integrated purpose of the national strategy. [read more]

New opportunities for
common transatlantic action
Jim Harkness, Director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) in Minneapolis, USA, recently visited Brussels. He¬†believes that US and EU Civil Society¬†Organisations should¬†work together on CAP reform and US Farm Bill. He sent us the following message: “The European Union and US Congress face some similar challenges in re-writing farm legislation next year: volatile markets, depopulated and depressed rural areas, entrenched corporate and sectoral interests, competing demands for food and farmland. And we are contending as well with shrinking budgets.¬†The time is ripe for a strategic transatlantic conversation about how to defend and promote shared values of sustainability, food security and rural prosperity in these tough times.¬†¬†[read more]
“Free our seeds!”

International days of action
17-18th April 2011, Brussels

Two years ago the Seed Sovereignty movement launched the petition “Sowing the future, harvesting diversity” to protest against planned new EU seed laws that are dominated by the interests of the big seed companies.
Currently 10 multinational companies, including Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta, already control 67% of the world seed market. This corporate control been achieved through contracts with farmers growing GMOs, patents on plants and animals, introducing seed propagation fees, lawsuits against farmers breaching restrictive rules, using sterile hybrids to control propagation and banning landraces/local varieties of crops.
[read more]

Upcoming event

AGRARIA – International Trade Fair for Agriculture, Food Industry and Packaging

4 May 2011
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Romania, ,

Upcoming event

World Fair Trade Day 2011
 

14 May 2011
Worldwide

Upcoming event

EESC Conference:
23 May 2011 – 09:30
Brussels, Belgium