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European Parliaments’ Agriculture Committee passes a lukewarm statement on Commissions’ reform proposals for agriculture and rural development
Brussels, May 25, 2011 – The European Parliament’s Committee on Agricultural and Rural Development (COMAGRI) has today found a compromise position on the huge differences between the political groups about the future of European farmers and rural regions and so avoided a false start into it newly endowed co-decision powers. That is the
good news. The bad news is that the message is not sufficiently concrete or ambitious, and does not respond to the expectations of civil society as laid down in our ARC communication which was published in parallel with Commissioner Ciolos’ reform proposals last year.
We are missing a clear statement by the Parliament on how the future Common Agricultural Policy will organise the urgently needed transition towards sustainable farming and food systems, with synergies between plant and animal production, good management of biodiversity, soils and water through crop rotation and a serious reduction of non-renewable inputs like fertilisers, pesticides and oils based fuels in food and energy production. There are substantial improvements in the report since it was published in February this year. The Committee now endorses stepwise reductions of payments for large farms, specific support for small farmers, local food chains and support for producers’ organisations so that farmers get a fair share from the market.
To mark one year after the Commission closed its consultation of civil society on the future of CAP, the ARC will convene on 13 July a meeting of key representatives of the EU institutions in order to critically assess whether the demands of civil society have been taken up.
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