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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. […]

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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. […]

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Damning Report on CAP Cash in Central and Eastern Europe Released

There are “strong links between politics and the biggest beneficiaries of the subsidies” in five Central and East European member states of the EU.  That’s according to a new in-depth study “Where does the money go”, which examines the implementation of the EU agriculture funds in Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic. The study, which was commissioned by the Greens/EFA political group in the European Parliament, sheds a stark light on how the CAP is not only funding degradation of biodiversity but also degrading democracy. Hans van Scharen reports. […]

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Comprehensive Tool Kit for Agroecological Land Access Launched

Your Land, My Land, Our Land: Grassroots Strategies to Preserve Farmland and Access to Land for Peasant Farming and Agroecology” is a collection of case studies, practical tips  legal tools and more, “to facilitate access to land for peasant and agroecological farmers, shepherds and mobile pastoralists, small-scale food producers, local residents, consumers, and environmentally-minded people and organisations, highlighting their crucial roles in building a more sustainable and fairer system […]

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The Great Polish Landgrab | Part 2

In the second of his two articles on landgrabbing in Poland, Hans Wetzels reports on rural Poland, the rise of the populist right and on sociological critiques of populist claims. We see that landgrabbing, large corporations and EU policy impact some areas and sectors differently to others […]

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Important Access to Land Consultation Closing Soon

Progress is being made towards land access – and against land concentration – in the EU, with a consultation by the Finance Directorate General.You can read the DG FISMA consultation document and submit your own feedback. Closing date for submissions is very soon – the 7th July. […]

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Working for Land Rights in Romania

By Attila Szocs, Eco Ruralis Land Rights Campaigner Land grabbing in Romania is reaching a blatant level but mobilisation against it is scaling up too. On the 26-27th of September, 2015, Eco Ruralis hosted in Cluj Napoca the first meeting of a newly established Working Group on the Right to Land. During the gathering, Eco Ruralis members and supporters debated important land related problems faced by peasants and agroecological food producers: lack of transparency behind large land acquisitions, equitable access to land for young and future farmers and land policies oriented towards land concentration. The meeting specified future collaboration by the group in order to intervene on the issue of land grabbing and fair access to land in Romania. Defining land grabbing generated an interesting debate inside the group. Several criteria were raised, taking into consideration quantitative and qualitative indicators of what is a land grab. First of all, we noted the duality of the Romanian countryside, where more than half of the available lands are cultivated by small farmers, while the other part is controlled by companies and other actors. This obviously opens up […]