Politicians told not to cheat Europe’s citizens in CAP reform

Luxembourg - Today at the Agricultural Council in Luxembourg, EU institution negotiators received a strong message. A group of approximately 20 citizens and farmers were outside the Kirchberg Conference Centre this morning to meet farm ministers as they arrived for what is expected to be a decisive meeting on the CAP reform. They were holding a large banner reminding politicians of their promise to deliver a green, fair and local CAP (Common Agricultural Policy). Later today, the group will try to meet with MEPs as they arrive to join the first day of negotiations.

Credit: Sven Becker

The Agriculture Council meeting, chaired by Irish Farm Minister Simon Coveney, will be the last held under the Irish Presidency, and coincides with a final round of negotiations with the European Parliament and the Commission. From the outset of the presidency, Coveney has been clear on his intention to reach a deal under his watch. Member States will need to resolve all outstanding differences on the future of EU food and farming policy if a common agreement is to be reached. Civil society organisations and activists however fear the meeting could the final nail in the coffin for many of the promises our EU leaders have made to EU citizens.

If an agreement is reached in Council, negotiations will continue with the Parliament and Commission.

Speaking at the action, Stephanie Roth – ARC2020 Campaign Manager said:

We are here today to remind EU and national leaders not to forget EU citizens as they push to reach a deal. The CAP has a big impact on each and every person in Europe, and beyond. This is about jobs, the environment, our health and the food on our plates. The outcome of the negotiations taking place here in Luxembourg over the next few days must take this into account. Citizens in Europe want a food and farming policy that supports small farmers, ensures healthy food, protects Europe’s landscapes and rural communities, preserves cultural heritage and reduces the impact of CAP on developing countries. Our leaders have the responsibility to deliver a sustainable and inclusive policy. They still have a chance to secure a meaningful and credible reform.”

Today’s action was organised by ARC2020(1), with the support of natur&ëmwelt asbl and other Luxembourg-based NGOs, as part of the Good Food Good Farming campaign. It forms part of a series of events that have taken place at key moments in the CAP reform, including the recent action in Strasbourg ahead of the final EU Parliament vote.

Find photos of the action here http://tinyurl.com/bdc5pt8

Via ARC2020