Welcome note September 2019

 

Dear Readers,

About three months after the European elections new Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen announced the final nominees of her new team and their portfolios. The new Commission of the European Union (EU) will consist of eight Vice-Presidents including the Vice-President and High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Policy and 18 Commissioners from all EU Member States.  This team, officially known as the College, will steer the work of the European Commission and defend the interests of the European Union under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen.

Within the coming weeks, the public hearings of the Commissioners-designate in the relevant committees of the European Parliament will assess the Commissioners’ suitability for the job. It is only after the European Parliament has given its final consent to the entire College of Commissioners,  that the European Council can appoint the European Commission, allowing Ursula von der Leyen and her team to start their work in November 2019.

The European organic movement expectations for the next Commission’s priorities

The new Commission intends to focus its work on the changes in climate, technology and demography. In line with this, IFOAM EU expects the new Commission to reform the CAP in way that supports targeted payments, which allow farmers to reduce their impact on the environment and make their farms economically viable instead of subsidising harmful farming practices. We are calling for 70% of the next CAP budget to be dedicated to environmental and climate action. To underline our demands we are part of the Good Food Good Farming (GFGF) campaign and will be present at its event in Strasbourg on 22 October, where like-minded NGOs, farmers and civil society will urge the European Parliament to act for a better future of European food and farming.

Given the ongoing discussion around Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and their regulation, the European organic movement is asking the European Commission and the EU Member States to efficiently implement the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In July 2018, the ECJ ruled that new genetic engineering techniques produce GMOs and should be regulated as such, which is crucial for the organic and conventional sectors to remain GMO-free.

To make sure the European organic food and farming sector is well represented towards the new Commission and our demands are heard,  we will continue our advocacy work on above mentioned and a range of other topics.

A busy few months ahead

We will dedicate the final month of this year to a range of important and interesting events taking place in Brussels. On 3 and 4  December, TP Organics will organise the 5th edition of its Organic Innovation Days together with LIAISON and XF-ACTORS projects. The event will feature the European Rural Innovation Contest Award Ceremony, workshops on optimising innovation in the organic sector and the launch of the new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. This publication sets the research and innovation needs for the organic sector until 2027 and guides the new Commission on the implementation of Horizon Europe, the next EU’s research and innovation framework programme. Have a look at the preliminary agenda and register before 26 November.

Furthermore, on 2 December, IFOAM EU will celebrate the successful completion of the 4-year SME Organics project, which aimed at bringing together regional governments, organic food and farming stakeholders including enterprises, universities and research institutes to share best practices that can support the competitiveness and sustainability of organic Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in their regions . Last but not least, we will also host the 2nd edition of “IFOAM EU meets business – Bringing the organic food industry together” on 3 December, bringing together IFOAM EU and companies involved in organic. Visit our website to find out more and register until 10 November.

Sincerely,

Eduardo Cuoco

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