Procedure : 2008/2564(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0229/2008

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 22/05/2008 - 4

Votes :

PV 22/05/2008 - 9.5
CRE 22/05/2008 - 9.5

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0217/2008
14 May 2008
to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Luisa Morgantini, Gabi Zimmer, Pedro Guerreiro, Dimitris Papadimoulis, Kartika Liotard
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

on rising food prices in the EU and in the developing countries
European Parliament resolution on rising food prices in the EU and in the developing countries

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the world is facing the most severe food price inflation in history and the lowest food reserves in 30 years,

B.  shocked at the World Food Plan's description of rising food prices as a 'silent tsunami' and at the risk facing 100 million people on all the world's continents of declining into hunger; deeply preoccupied that food reserves are at their lowest level in 30 years,

C.  recalling that the right to food is a human right,

D.  concerned that escalating food prices hit the poor hardest, given that food accounts for 10-20% of consumer spending in the industrialised countries but for a good 60-80% in the developing countries; concerned that the rise in food prices jeopardises attainment of the MDG, in other words the reduction of poverty by half by 2015,

E.  deeply preoccupied by the World Bank Group's estimate that 33 countries around the world face potential social unrest because of the acute hike in food and energy prices,

F.  recalling that the planet, which according to the FAO can feed 12 billion people, is not short of food globally; stressing that the wheat harvest has never been as good as in 2007 and that the rice harvest of 2007 was very good too; pointing out that 1.01 billion tonnes of the 2007 harvest are likely to be used to feed people, while an important proportion will go to feed animals (760 million tonnes) and around 100 million tonnes to produce biofuels,

G.  whereas the European Union is the world's largest importer of animal feed,

H.  whereas the recent biofuels commitments of the European Union signalled a guaranteed demand to large agricultural producers, disturbed the world markets and helped initiate the current wave of speculation in food and fuel prices,

I.  concerned at the risk that the escalating non-food use of agricultural products, with biofuels in the lead, will end up replacing agricultural food production, and that this is going on without a proper study of the impact on food self-sufficiency and sovereignty,

J.  whereas international financial speculation is at the core of the brutal increases in agricultural prices; whereas the agro-industry and large retailers bear a heavy responsibility for the current crisis,

K.  recalling that price guarantees for European farmers have been an important incentive for agricultural production in post-war Europe; whereas the liberalisation of food markets in the WTO context has deterred agricultural production in developing countries,

L.  whereas basic rights such as those to water, land, energy and health must not be dependent on market requirements; whereas the current crisis shows that market regulation at international as well as European level is indispensable for food security,

1.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to redouble their efforts to close the funding gap of the UN's World Food Programme, which needs at least an extra EUR 400 million for additional food supplies to meet emergency demands;

2.  Demands that the right to food and food sovereignty be applied as a principle; considers that priority should be given to countries' capacity to develop their production for their national or regional food needs, entailing the possibility for all countries of protecting their production against imports that threaten to destabilise their internal markets;

3.  Calls on the EU to strive for the establishing of a World Food Fund within the UN framework with a view to offering price guarantees to farmers in cooperation with national governments, thus encouraging increased agricultural production;

4.  Believes that the main purpose of agricultural production should be to feed the people and not to produce monocultures for export;

5.  Calls on the Commission to review the objective of 10% biofuel use; is surprised at the Commission's failure to react to the disturbances on the world market, notably those caused by the increased demand for biofuels as emphasised by the Commission, the need being to prevent famine spreading among the poorest;

6.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to adjust the programming of the 10th EDF, to readdress the country strategy papers as a means of rapid reaction to the world food crisis, and to give higher priority to stimulating increased, efficient and sustainable agricultural food production;

7.  Calls for greater investment in agriculture and food production in the developing countries, including the investment required for infrastructures (irrigation, transport and storage of agricultural products); takes the view that sustainable family farming and cooperatives, coupled with a political will to give priority to local and regional trade, are instruments to prevent hunger and protect soil fertility and biodiversity;

8.  Underlines the importance of an active EU agricultural policy which will guarantee food security and stabilise food prices at a reasonable level;

9.  Calls urgently on the Commission and the Member States to take measures to stop the current speculation in food and fuel prices and to prevent further speculation in the future;

10.  Reiterates that the Economic Partnership Agreements, which oblige countries to liberalise their agriculture markets, are a real danger to food sovereignty;

11.  Rejects the imposition of trade agreements and blind liberalisation, supporting, by contrast, fair trade and a culture grounded in rights, specifically the rights to education, water, food and healthcare;

12.  Believes that the EU's export subsidy policy destabilises local markets in the developing countries and leads to the active destruction of production in the countries of the South; calls on the Commission, accordingly, to frontload the ending of export subsidies;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States, and the UN Secretary-General.

Last updated: 16 May 2008Legal notice