ARC NEWSFLASH – April 2012

Dear friends and supporters of ARC

Today ARC has released a CALL FOR ACTION… In the next two weeks, MEPs will be finalising their intial reactions to the legislative proposals for reform released by the EU Commission in October. There is still opportunity to influence these reports, but we must be quick. There are 2 ways to do this. Firstly by¬†signing a petition, issued by our friends at Slow Food Youth Network, and secondly, by writing to your MEP stating your demands. ARC today released its own reaction to the Commission’s proposals – you are welcome to use this to help create your own messsage for parliamentarians.

Building on the demands highlighted in our new paper, and reflecting current developments in a number of Member States, ARC issued a press release yesterday expressing concern about steps being taken to weaken the greening elements of the CAP. On April 17th Рthe International Day of Peasant StruggleARC, along with APRODEV, Corporate Europe Obsevatory, CONCORD, the European Environmental Bureau, European Coordination Via Campensina, Food and Water Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, IFOAM EU Group and Pesticide Action Network Europe released a joint statement on the CAP and export dumping. It called for Europe to stop generating surplus food commodities for export based on cheap imported inputs and deliver a fair and an environmentally sound farming policy that contributes to global food security.

And finally, preparations are now well underway for a range of activities that will be taking place throughout the rest of the year. Read more on these below and embark on the ARC today!

Warm greetings,
Kate Mann

communication@arc2020.eu

P.S. if you haven’t already, don’t forget to like our facebook page!

Last month in Brussels

On April 17th, the European Court of Auditors issued a press release regarding their official opinion on the EU Commission‚Äôs legislative proposals for the reform of the CAP. It highlights their concern that the policy proposals remain too complex. It also suggests that the effectiveness of the reform rests on the clarity of the ‚Äėimplementing regulations‚Äô that are introduced. On April 20th a conference on¬†Local agriculture and short food supply chains was organised in Brussels. The event was a joint initiative of¬†Dacian CioloŇü, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy. Michael Dower and Andrea Fink-Ke√üler provided reports for ARC on this event. On April 20th, a vote also took place during¬†the Strasbourg plenary session regarding biodiversity. The Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development met again on 23rd and 24th April.In terms of the CAP, direct payments to farmers under support schemes, as well as financing, management and monitoring were on the agenda. An exchange of views was held with Dacian CioloŇü and Michel Cretin, Member of the European Court of Auditors. A workshop on EU competition framework: specific rules for the food chain in the new CAP also took place. The Agriculture and Fisheries Council met on 26th and 27th April. See the full report opposite.

Find out about all the latest developments in Brussels here

April Agriculture and Fisheries Council

On 26th and 27th April, Agriculture ministers met in Luxembourg for a public debate on the regulation of direct payments within the framework of the CAP reform. The specific issues discussed were: the special support schemes for young farmers, small farmers and farmers in areas with natural constraints, voluntary coupled support internal redistribution of direct payments, the “active farmer” and capping of support to large farms.

The first debate focused on special measures proposed to help particular categories of farmers. With regard to schemes for young farmers and for small farmers, Member States broadly agreed on the need to target payments to these two groups better. Delegations were divided on the issue of whether or not small farmers should satisfy the greening or cross-compliance provisions. The second round table was organised on the definition of active farmer, capping for large farms and internal redistribution. With regard to the active farmer concept, there was broad support for the Presidency’s suggestion to focus on farming and avoid undue administrative burdens. On internal redistribution, the Commission proposed that Member States achieve a uniform level of direct payments at regional or national level by 2019. Find more details on the discussions here.

Upcoming EU events 

08.05.2012
COMAGRI Meeting
Brussels

10.05.2012
Regions and cities for integrated territorial development
Brussels

10.05.2012
Meeting of Rural Directors
Copenhagen

14  Р15.05.2012
Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRI)
Brussels

14.05.2012
Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development: EXTRAORDINARY MEETING
Brussels

30 – 31.05.2012
Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
Brussels

Find all events here

Upcoming public events

06 – 08.05.2012
Data Harvest: Data Journalism Conference
Brussels

07 – 09.05.2012
Organic Marketing Forum
Warsaw

10 – 11.05.2012
Soil remediation and soil sealing
Brussels

22.05.2012
Soil as World Heritage

Moldova

24.05.2012
Tuscany – Europe 2020: Committee of the Regions
Brussels

29.05.2012
Crop Rotation and Legume Cultivation
Brussels

NEW ARC ACTIONS!

Speakers Tours
The first speakers tour will take place in June. It will feature an African farmer speaking about the effects of landgrabbing, and a US farmer warning about the devastating impacts of industrial farming.

Agro-ecological Innovation Project
In partnership with IFOAM EU Group and TP Organics, ARC is also launching a new knowledge transfer project. The first step in this project is a questionnaire – this will be online son and can be completed by June 1st.

Good Food March to Brussels
Get your tractors, wheelbarrows and bikes ready…you are invited to join us on our march to Brussels – arriving in time for our conference on September 19th. MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON!