PRESS RELEASE At DG AGRI’s CAP post-2013 Conference, the Agricultural and Rural Convention 2020 (ARC) urged the European decision-makers to initiate a paradigm shift in agriculture and a rural renaissance to meet environmental and social challenges.
ARC spokesperson Professor Michael Dower was invited to present the position of the recently-created civil society platform alongside a panel of established stakeholders representing the agro-food industry. “ARC is an innovative new process which aims to give civil society a strong voice. It is this voice of the citizens which has been drowned out in traditional policy making,” Professor Dower later said.
“Civil society is asking for a profound reform of policies for both agriculture and rural development. The status quo is no longer an option, and there was a general agreement on that in the conference” ARC spokesperson Professor Michael Dower said. He continued “the CAP has been becoming more sustainable since the 2003 reform, but it’s like a ship that has been turning slowly, and we now need to sharpen that turn and finish the job.”
ARC therefore urged the European institutions to initiate:
- A paradigm shift in agriculture to sustainable farming everywhere and a diversified pattern of regional and local production and processing of food, with closer links between farmers and consumers, high care for public health, and respecting the environment.
- An economic renaissance of rural areas, building upon the strength and diversity of communities and cultures and the sustainable use of human and natural resources.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos declared he is supportive of the kind of network ARC is building because “such initiatives can be very useful in harmonising the differences inside civil society.”
“A paradigm shift is needed in agriculture” said Mr Ciolos in his closing address.