It is the last day of the European Elections. While a few countries of the European Union have organized the vote between Thursday and Saturday, the majority of Member States will elect their representatives to the European Parliament today. Slow Food Europe calls everyone to vote for the candidates who respect European values and care about the future of European agriculture, food, and the environment.
Millions of people across the European Union are set to cast their vote over the coming days in the European elections, which started on Thursday and will run until Sunday. The elections will conclude an electoral campaign, during which many important EU’s policies have been rarely touched upon, thereby overlooking the far-reaching effect they will have on Europe over the next five-year period.
The long-anticipated vote on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Proposal is due to take place at the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) of the European Parliament tomorrow. However, this vote and its possible outcome create more questions than answers for civil society groups and Members of Parliament alike.
Slow Food Europe has been among organizations calling on EU decision-makers for a new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform that is ambitious and leads a real transition towards a sustainable food system. Even though the institutional agreement on the new CAP will most probably be concluded by the new European Parliament, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) of the current Parliament can still play a role in shaping the CAP proposal, and with its vote in April, can give the newly elected policy-makers strong indications of which direction the new CAP should take. At the same time, the Council of the EU is carrying the CAP file forward, and the Romanian presidency expects to have a provisional agreement among the Member States in June, by the end of its presidency.
Days ahead the Agriculture and Fisheries (AGRIFISH) Council meeting in Brussels, Slow Food Europe and other five civil society organizations urge European ministers of agriculture to increase the environmental ambition of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform and not to “further weaken the Commission’s proposal.”
Slow Food Europe believes food-related issues should have been more broadly addressed in the European Commission’s Reflection Paper on a Sustainable Europe by 2030 since food can be a way to help achieve each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. Meanwhile, in a public debate held at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on February 12, civil society groups criticized the European Commission for portraying the European Union as a frontrunner in sustainable development. The Reflection Paper, published at the end of January, focuses on the key policy foundations for the transition towards a sustainable Europe, including the aim of correcting the imbalances in our food system.
“A Common Food Policy for Europe is urgently needed to address climate change, halt biodiversity loss, curb obesity, and making farming reliable for the next generation.” This was the key message of a report launched today by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), following a three-year process of participatory research. Slow Food was among 400 food system actors who helped to shape a blueprint for a reform, which was presented at the high-level meeting at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).