Dear friends and supporters of ARC2020
This month was significant for two of ARC2020’s projects: Agro-ecological Innovation
and the Good Food Good Farming campaign.
On November 15th, approximately 80 people gathered in Brussels for the final event of the Agro-ecological Innovation project: a collaboration of ARC2020, IFOAM EU Group and TP Organics. The event provided an opportunity for the partners to showcase the project to a diverse audience, and present recommendations derived from the project regarding how best to integrate agro-ecological innovation in the new policy frameworks for agriculture, and research and innovation. Launched back in March 2012, the main outputs of the project are a website and a promotional brochure of successful case studies and examples.
Following the close of one project came the launch of another: The GOOD FOOD FOOD FARMING campaign. Inspired by the success of the Good Food March this summer, and with an EU-wide network of citizens who share our vision for good food, good farming and a vibrant countryside now in place; the campaign will serve as ARC2020’s campaigning tool. Keep an eye on the updated website (www.goodfoodgoodfarming.eu) for news of upcoming actions.
The first international event the Good Food Good Farming campaign is supporting will be a demonstration against factory farming taking place on 19th January 2013 in Berlin. Coinciding with the International Green Week which sees all EU agricultural ministers and Agriculture Commissioner Cioloş come together in the city, and just days before COMAGRI will hold their final vote on the CAP reform; the demonstration couldn’t come at a more crucial time. We hope to see many of you who we met in Brussels at the Good Food March finale in Berlin to help make the event a truely international day of action.
And finally, with the festive period fast approaching, we wanted to mark the success of 2012. We are printing a limited number of special edition A2 broadsheet newspapers featuring all the messages collected as part of our photo action to date. Printed on heavy white paper, each page is a celebration to good food and good farming; a celebration to the diversity and beauty of Europe’s countryside; and a great way to remember all we achieved together in 2012. Yours for a minumum donation of 3 euros each, send your order to email@example.com today!
Warm greetings to you all on a snowy day,
Latest from Brussels
At the beginning of November, COMAGRI announced that it will delay its final vote on CAP reform to the Committee meeting on 23 January 2013. The delay to the vote, originally scheduled for November, results from the need to amalgamate the over 7,500 amendments made to the Commission’s original proposal, as well as time needed to translate all the compromise texts into every EU language. Failure to agree on the budget has also slowed progress, as the Committee’s majority groups still believe that the figures available for the CAP must come before a project for the reform can be proposed.
Throughout November, all eyes were on the EU budget. From 22 – 23 November, Heads of State gathered in Brussels for an extraordinary summit on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2014 – 2020. Ahead of the meeting, Van Rompuy issued his proposals for the budget cuts, raising concern among organic and environmental groups, particularly concerning the cuts to greening and rural development. Leaders at the summit failed to reach an agreement, with a new meeting now expected early next year. This is likely to lead to delays in the CAP reform timeline. Following the summit, COMAGRI met in the EU Parliament on 26 – 27 November. On the agenda; direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the CAP. The Agricultre and Fisheries Council also met following the summit, find a report opposite.
In other news, during the plenary sitting of 21 November in Strasbourg, Mr Tonio Borg was approved as new Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection. This decision comes following the resignation of Mr John Dalli.
November Agricultural and Fisheries Council Meeting
Just days after EU Heads of State departed from Brussels, having failed to reach an agreement on the EU Budget, Agricultural Ministers met from 28 – 29 November for their monthly Council meeting. In terms of the CAP reform, the key items on the agenda were: Direct payments to farmers, single CMO regulation (sugar quotas and vine planting rights) and rural development.
In terms of direct payments, many Member States supported the notion of equivalence to the greening measures proposed by the Commission, many considering that these measures should be directly linked to environmental considerations. Many States underlined the need for farmers and national administrations to have legal certainty before using equivalent-type measures. The importance of a simple, manageable and efficient evaluation process for these measures was also highlighted. In order to avoid overlap, and double funding, some Member States suggested that the link between the greening in the first pillar (direct payments) and the baseline for agri-environmental/climate measures under rural development measures must be made clear. Others felt this risk was not likely, and called for greening to be excluded from the baseline.
With regard to the postponement of the decision on the multi-annual financial framework, some delegations highlighted the need to maintain the share of the budget devoted to rural development.
Find the full press release here
Find all news from Brussels here