ARC Press Release

Press Release

For immediate use

German press release (as PDF)

CAP Reform: Civil society must be heard!

Reform without real greening has no meaning: CAP must become resilient to climatic and market volatility

BRUSSELS, January 20th 2012 – The Agricultural and Rural Convention (ARC 2020), a broad alliance of civil society organisations and networks (i), has organised a debate with EU farm Commissioner Cioloş on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which will take place today(ii), during “International Green Week” in Berlin. ARC 2020 and the co-organiser of this debate, its German network partner Meine Landwirtschaft, will underline their demand for a shift of the CAP towards a policy that guarantees fair global farm prices in the South and the North, environmentally sustainable farm practices, healthy food, agro-ecological innovation and a sound development of rural regions(iii).

Romuald Schaber of the European Milk Board said: “Farmers can only implement sustainable food production systems if they get fair prices for their products. We work in tough conditions, only for our milk to be exported in some cases even using subsidies which undermine markets in the Southern hemisphere; we don’t want this, as those farmers need fair prices too. So we’re asking for a CAP that develops new forms of market regulation and supply management.”

Samuel Féret from the Groupe de Bruges and the French platform Groupe PAC2013 said: “It’s high time that public money in the CAP is spent on public goods – EU citizens want vibrant rural economies and a healthy environment. We call on ministers and MEPs to opt for a paradigm shift in agriculture – for real sustainability and long term food security in Europe.”

The European Commission has taken up some of the ARC demands in its CAP reform proposals. We therefore ask the European Council and the Parliament not to fall short of these proposals, but to take them as a minimum, including ecological as well as social criteria in direct payments and a search for balance in agricultural markets. The Council and the Parliament should not respond to those who wish to ignore the demands of society or to only satisfy special interests. We urgently need change towards long-term and holistic political thinking. Civil society must also continue to have its say.

Benedikt Haerlin of the German alliance Meine Landwirtschaft said: “As the current EU farm policy represents €55 billion, about 43% of the EU budget, CAP reform should no longer be considered a deal to be stitched up between Member States, but ought to really reflect society’s expectations to make farming and food systems greener and fairer, and able to continue producing food in the long term.”

ARC 2020 is currently preparing a more detailed and policy-based position on the legislative proposals from the European Commission. This will be published on the ARC website soon.


Notes to editors

(i) The Agricultural and Rural Convention (ARC 2020) was created in early 2010 as a platform to enable concerned citizens and their organisations to advocate a sustainable reform of the Common Agricultural and Rural Development policies of the European Union. Active within the platform is a wide array of civil society organisations, at European, national, regional and local level. They represent a great variety of interests, including human rights, farmers, consumers, rural communities, nature protection, cultural heritage, animal welfare, minorities, public health, organic food and many others. The ARC Communication, which sets out the full range of policies advocated by the alliance, is available on For more information on ARC, please visit or contact Véronique Rebholtz: or +32 2 743 41 19


(iii) The ARC Communication