Slow Food, along with other civil society organizations, expresses its deep disappointment following the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee’s (COMAGRI) vote yesterday to support controversial policies that would effectively remove most of the potential environmental benefits of the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the EU’s system of subsidies and programmes, currently in debate and due for reform in 2014.
The COMAGRI voted to seriously weaken the proposed ‘greening’ of subsidies given to European farmers – a set of measures that would improve the ecological performance of farms. The vote goes against the original proposal that direct payments to farms would carry with them ecological conditions.
Under this proposal, EU farmers would be still entitled to the same payments regardless of the extent of the environmental measure they have inflicted. Spending would still be oriented towards the most damaging practices and would force taxpayers to pay twice; once for the subsidies and again to clean up the damage done to the environment.
The texts adopted yesterday will be assessed and put to a vote of the whole EP in March, together with proposed amendments from other committees. This will then serve as a basis for the Parliament to negotiate new farming rules with EU member states.
Europe citizens have been calling for radical changes to food and farming policy. In September, farmers, citizens and young people from more than 20 took part in the Good Food March and brought their demands for the future of the CAP directly to the decision-makers.
You can get involved too! Slow Food along with more than 20 farmers’ and civil society networks from 10 countries have launched EU-wide action Go M.A.D. – Go Meet A Deputy, which calls on EU citizens to directly interact with their local Members of the European Parliament (MEP) and ask them how they will vote during the plenary decision on the CAP reform in March. We want to know which of the 754 MEPs will vote for a green, fair and local CAP!
Find out more here.
Sources: ARC, WWF