ARC NEWSFLASH June 2013

Dear friends and supporters

June started off with a bang; and a farm! From 31 May to 1 June, a two day event in the centre of Paris – organised by ARC2020, ConfĂ©dĂ©ration paysanne and PAC2013 saw farmers, animals, market stalls and good food take over Place Stalingrad. Urban and rural consumers from across France came to meet farmers and take part in Ferme Ă  Paris. The event provided fantastic surroundings to share our common wish for a fair, green and local CAP: French Agriculture Minister, StĂ©phane Le Foll and vice-chair of the EU Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, JosĂ© BovĂ© were among those attending. 

Towards the end of the month, our attention turned to the decisive Agricultural Council meeting in Luxembourg. On June 24 – the first day of the meeting – young activists from ARC2020 were in town to remind EU politicians of their promise to deliver a CAP reform that reflects the wishes of European citizens. Holding a large banner (see image below) outside the VIP entrance to the Kirchberg Conference Centre, the location of the meeting, the group were clearly not welcome. They were quickly intercepted by security and removed from the area. Three were pushed to the floor by armed police and taken to the local police station. Luckily they were later released allowing them to reconvene in time to meet MEPs as they arrived for the afternoon session. Find all photos from the action here.

Two days later, the EU institutions reached a deal on CAP. ARC2020 reacted with a press release. It expresses disappointment at the outcome, but calls upon ARC2020 members and partners to make the best of the available options when it comes to national implementation. As ARC2020 Coordinator Samuel FĂ©ret states:

“…the struggle is not over, but shifts to national level now. There is still plenty to win or lose for small farmers, rural development, agroecology and the environment. Providing these options is probably the best this CAP reform can offer.”

The fight continues.

Kate Mann

ARC2020 Communications Manager

Latest from Brussels

After almost two years of negotiations between the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council; a political agreement on the reform of the CAP was reached on 26 June. The announcement came as the Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee officially endorsed the agreement reached earlier in the day between the three institutions.

As this is the first time in the history of the CAP that the EU Parliament has been given co-decision powers; the agreement is a significant moment for the policy.

In the run up to the Council meeting in Luxembourg, where the agreement was due to be discussed, it was unclear whether or not MEPs would attend – rumours were circulating. In a statement on 18 June COMAGRI Chair, Paolo de Castro indicated that MEPs may boycott the meeting. On June 20 however, it was confirmed they would attend the first day of the meeting, with de Castro reiterating an earlier statement:

“…it must be clear that we will not accept whatever Council or Commission put on the table just for sake of having the negotiations finalised during the next week. The quality of the reform is much more important than the speed.”

It seems the Parliament found the quality of the final outcome acceptable. You can learn more about the agreement here and read more about the Council meeting opposite.

June Agricultural and Fisheries Council Meeting

From June 24 – 26 the Agricultural and Fisheries Council met in Luxembourg for the last meeting to be chaired by Irish Farm Minister, Simon Coveney. From the beginning of the Irish Council Presidency in January 2013, Mr Coveney had been clear on his intention to secure a CAP reform deal under his watch. On June 26 he welcomed what he described as an historic moment for the CAP.

On closer inspection however, it seems a deal was only made possible by taking some of the most sensitive issues off the table. These will now be left to the heads of state and government to resolve in the context of 2014 – 2020 budget negotiations.

Almost all contentious points on the agenda are set to remain optional for Member States. These include support for small farmers, topping up of payments for the first hectares and degressive large payments; as well as the shifting of up to 25% of funds between direct payments and targeted programs (first and second pillar) and allowing for private income insurance schemes to be subsidized out of an already reduced second pillar – at the expense of programs to promote organic and other agro-ecological practices. Innovative, community led rural development measures have also been shifted to national level.

The deal will be formally adopted by Parliament in September.

Find more coverage of the meeting here

Upcoming public events

02 – 04.07.2013
7th Europan Organic Conference
Vilnius, Lithuania

13.07.2013
Mir hams satt! – Demonstration
Munich, Germany

28.07.2013 – 03.08.2013
Eating City Summer Campus
la Bergerie de Villarceaux, France

30.08.2013 – 01.09.2013
Farms not factories: Action Camp
Wietze, Germany

Find all events listed on ARC2020 here

Action Camp: Farms not Factories
30.08 – 01.09.2013

Preparations for the summer action camp taking place in Wietze, Lower Saxony – home to Europe’s largest chicken slaughter house – are now well underway. The three day event is set to have a lively and dynamic programme.

Recently confirmed international guests include award-winning film maker, Pavlos Georgiadis who will be running a workshop called How the crisis in Greece is feeding ideas for the future‘.

If you would like to host a workshop, please contact Stephanie Roth asap.