S&Ds: EU agricultural policy must remain truly common. Re-nationalisation should be avoided at all

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Agriculture & Food
The risk of re-nationalising Europe’s agricultural policy must be avoided at all costs when the CAP legislative proposals are published shortly.
 
Following today’s adaptation of the report on the Future of Food and Farming, Clara Aguilera García, S&D shadow rapporteur and vice president of the agriculture & rural affairs committee stated:
 
“Agricultural policy must remain truly common to all member states and must incentivise and assist farmers in transitioning to more sustainable, climate-proof and climate-protective practices as they produce our food.  We, the S&D Group, maintained this approach in the European Parliament’s response to ‘The Future of Food and Farming’[1], making our mark on this report today.
 
“Mandatory capping of the amount each farm can receive, decided at EU level, must be dealt with seriously in the European Commission’s proposals in order to help maintain public support for this crucial public policy. Likewise, we must have a Europe-wide baseline of conditionality for anyone receiving funds, so that the contribution to environment and climate action is shared across member states.
 
“We are at a crucial point. People in Europe need safe, dependable and affordable foods, which are produced sustainably, and this is only possible when our farmers can maintain their agricultural activity over the long term, even through market turbulence and drastic weather events. At the same time, our policy and practices have to meet public expectations in terms of environmental impact, and have the means to ensure dynamic rural areas.
 
“Our Group will keep this approach in the coming months, when the real work starts on the European Commission’s proposals, so that we will have an agricultural policy which is healthy in every sense.” 
 
Eric Andrieu, S&D spokesperson for agriculture, added:
 
“For over 25 years, CAP reforms have been market oriented, devastating for farmers, jobs, and rural economies and dangerous for our food security.
 
“Like the European project, the CAP now needs to be given new colours and a longer term perspective. Citizens rightly call for the CAP to tie food production more closely to human health, the fight against climate change, environmental protection, jobs and local economies. We expect the European Commission to present an ambitious project that is equal to these crucial challenges for Europe's future.”
 
[1] The Commission’s communication on modernising and simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy ‘The Future of Food and Farming’ was published on 29 November 2017

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