Latest from EU Member States

Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part III

Rural Hungary has been Viktor Orbán’s ticket to three terms in power. With the April 2022 elections approaching, is there a chance for emancipation from authoritarian populist rule to arise from this very same countryside? Drawing on original research, PĂ©ter JĂłzsef Bori and NoĂ©mi Gonda argue that by reforming our ways of producing food, we can also initiate a radical reform of the undemocratic systems that govern us. Final installment of an exclusive three-part series. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part II

Our second installment here explains how Orbán and his FIDESZ party backtracked on their promises after their election in 2010. What followed is a decade of land grabbing, destructive agricultural transformation and the alienation of Hungary’s last smallholders – all while maintaining the image of a pro-peasant government. Original research by PĂ©ter JĂłzsef Bori and NoĂ©mi Gonda. […]

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Hungary | The Last Smallholders Part I

In Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, the rural vote will have a crucial role to play in the upcoming April elections. Orbán has been milking farmers’ grievances for over a decade. Have the nation’s smallholders had enough? Revealing the findings of new research, PĂ©ter JĂłzsef Bori and NoĂ©mi Gonda track the progress of feudal dynamics in the Hungarian countryside. First in a three-part series. […]

Latest from Brussels

MEPs Mean Business on Live Exports

The European Parliament last week called on member states to step up enforcement of existing rules on protecting livestock during transport. MEPs are urging member states to ramp up spot checks, use tracking technology to monitor compliance, and apply tougher penalties for offenders. Transport times should be cut, but the preference is to phase out live exports altogether in favour of local slaughtering. And when animals are transported to non-EU countries, EU standards should be applied. […]

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Huge TTIP Leak – How Does Agriculture Fare?

Another leak has rocked the TTIP negotiations. The full extent of the demands from the US side for sacrifices to EU standards – especially in agriculture – are revealed. However – and despite the spin – major differences between the two sides are also exposed. Peter Crosskey has the details, with special reference to agriculture. […]

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Milk crisis: 3 Reasons why the Commission are at Fault

ARC2020 exclusive: Part one two by AndrĂ© Pfimlin, translated from French by ARC2020’s Samuel Feret and Peter Crosskey. In part one, Andre outlines the milk crisis: part two, to be released tomorrow morning, suggests solutions. #MilkCrisis   “Since the long term market perspectives are good for animal products and since Europe has significant potential for growing milk production, we should produce more and export more”, said European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. “We must accelerate the modernisation and consolidation of livestock farmholdings to make them more productive and more competitive”, a Copa-Cogeca vice-president said recently (1). In 2015, just like 2009, at the height of yet another milk crisis the line is the same out of Brussels, be it from the European Commission or Copa-Cogeca. For our policymakers, dreaming of unlimited export trade for decades to come, the short-term volatility of world prices takes a back seat. It is down to the livestock farmers to anticipate market volatility and either build up reserves when prices are high or take out private insurance policies. So there will be […]

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EU Trade Secrets Directive Threatens Investigative Media

Written by: Claire Bernardin, Land Rights intern at Eco Ruralis; additional content via Corporate Europe Observatory. “Soon, journalists and their sources could be sued by companies if they reveal what these companies want to keep secret. Unless we react to defend the investigative work of journalists and, by extension, the right for citizen to be informed. Under the alibi of the fight against industrial espionage, the European Parliament is preparing a new massive weapon against journalism,”trade secrets”, whose definition allows not less then an unprecedented censorship in Europe.” That’s according to the petition launched by Elise Lucet, a French investigative journalist, which is  approaching half a million signatures. It all started on November 28th 2013 when the Commission submitted a draft proposal aiming to homogenise the definition of a trade secret throughout the EU. This would fight economic and industrial espionage by protecting companies against the unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure of the aforementioned trade secrets, thus enhancing competitiveness in the Union. However, voices arose among civil society to denounce the dangerous vagueness of the bill. […]