EU farm policy must be simplified, further improved and well financed to ensure fair living standards for EU farmers and food security for EU citizens.
This was the main message of many speakers during the Thursday’s debate on how to reform the EU’s farming policy after 2020, which was held in the Parliament’s Agriculture committee with members of the Committee of Regions and of the European Economic and Social Committee.
“Opinions on the CAP reform presented by the CoR and the EESC accurately diagnose the problems farmers and rural communities are facing today. We need to adapt environment protection rules to different realities on the ground in different EU states and regions, we need intelligent rural development and modern and innovative agriculture, we need to improve the CAP to attract more young people to the sector and we need to better equip all farmers to cope with market challenges. But first and foremost we need the CAP to remain a policy with high-enough budget to provide decent income for our farmers and food security for our citizens,” said the Chair of the Parliament’s Agriculture Committee Czesław Adam Siekierski (EPP, PL).
“We need to turn the CAP into a policy that is fair, sustainable and based on solidarity for the benefit of farmers, regions, consumers and the general public. The CAP cannot be a rent for some happy few. Unless the CAP has economic, social and environmental legitimacy its survival cannot be guaranteed. The CAP should also help to preserve agricultural activity across the Union and a vibrant rural fabric in order to meet the territorial cohesion objective set out in the Treaty of Lisbon,” said the Chair of the CoR’s Commission for Natural Resources Ossi Martikainen (ALDE, FI).
“The EESC believes that the CAP has delivered on its key objectives. In addition to providing high quality affordable food, agriculture under a positively reshaped, modernized and simplified CAP has an essential role to play in meeting EU commitments under the SDGs and COP21 and in delivering public goods. I would like to underline the great social responsibility of the CAP in retaining rural businesses and jobs. For these reasons, the future CAP budget must be adequate to meet existing and new needs,” said the President of the EESC’s Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Section Brendan Burns (UK).
You can re-watch the whole debate here (starting at 10:39).
Thursday, 11 January 2017
Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
In the chair: Czesław Adam Siekierski (EPP, PL)