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CAP 2020 must promote the interests of farmers and consumers


03 Mar 2011


Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

GUE/NGL's "CAP 2020" public hearing held in Brussels on 2/2/2011 heard from farmers, rural policy experts, cattle-breeders' unions, farmers' and environmental organisations. The European Coordination of Via Campesina presented its position on the need for a fourth option, different from the three proposed for the CAP reform post-2013 by the European Commission. For its part, Friends of the Earth presented its position on food sovereignty.


Opening the hearing, GUE/NGL President Lothar Bisky insisted that EU agricultural policy can not be isolated from the problems of the globalised world. "As leftists, we argue for a CAP that takes account of the fact that the majority of farms in the EU are micro-companies, but without neglecting other progressive forms of production, notably those that can help create and secure decent and green jobs in the agricultural sector."


GUE/NGL MEP Alfreds Rubiks (Latvia) stressed that the aim of the hearing was to exchange views with people really involved in agricultural production. "The idea is to define objectives that will promote the interests of farmers and consumers, protect the environment and the soil and defend the right to food, to fair prices and to a fair income for farmers."


Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL, France) said that the Commission's Communication was "very ambitious but did not deal with the real problems created by the agricultural crisis and the food crisis in general". He said it refuses to retract on the system of guaranteed prices, including for production quotas. There are no regulation mechanisms, nor is there any going back to border regulation systems or systems of customs duties because these do not conform to the Lisbon Treaty. "This has very negative consequences on prices because completely different types of agriculture are put into competition with each other in the context of fully fledged free trade with disastrous social and environmental consequences, notably for developing countries" he explained.


Gabriele Zimmer, GUE/NGL Germany, EP rapporteur on the EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security, was very negative about the Commission's Communication "because of its lack of a global perspective and its limited EU perspective by not expanding market access opportunities to developing countries and allowing them to perform competitively in their own national and regional markets."


Kartika Liotard, (GUE/NGL, Netherlands) spoke on genetically modified organisms saying that "60% of Europeans feel uncomfortable with GM foods. Not without reason, as modified foods are seen to involve unexpected health hazards. News came only this week from the U.S. on GM feed - harmful to both animals and humans. The Commission should, in cases like this, always consider public health over commercial interests. This will benefit of both farmers and consumers."


João Ferreira (GUE/NGL, Portugal) said that the modes of production which threaten and degrade nature are the same as those which threaten food sovereignty and food security in several countries. "This is the type of agriculture that the CAP promotes. Therefore, substantial changes are needed to relocate production, to place value on the role of the small and medium-sized holdings, that reject the integration of agriculture into the WTO and that recognise the right for each country to produce for its own people and to promote nature conservation and its natural resources."



According to Charalampos Angourakis, (GUE/NGL, Greece) "CAP reform as promoted by the EU post-2013 is included in the reactionary “2020 strategy” that pursues and deepens the unpopular Lisbon Strategy. The EU's strategic goal today is to increase competition via the reinforcing of capitalist agricultural exploitation while completely destroying small and medium-sized farmholdings."



Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28
Gauche Unitaire Européenne/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group