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Henri Nallet: Will Europe keep its farmers?


15 Dec 2010


Agriculture & Food
EU Priorities 2020

Book launch of “Will Europe keep its farmers? Putting the reform of the CAP into perspective”

15 December 2010, Brussels – The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is due to be reformed by 2013, together with a review of the EU-budget. In this new essay, Henri Nallet, former Minister of Agriculture of France, President of the Scientific Council of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and Vice-President of the Jean Jaurès Foundation, addresses the question of how tomorrow’s European agriculture should look like by putting the CAP into historical perspective.

He points out that the subsequent reforms of the CAP have left agriculture more and more to the mercy of the international market, but consequently do not provide an adequate answer to the challenge of food security and climate change. What he proposes is a CAP that leads to a “sustainable agriculture” that is both environmentally friendly and able to produce more to feed mankind.

To reach this sustainable agriculture in Europe, he makes some valuable suggestions for reform:

·        A shift from a fundamentally negative, restrictive, or strictly compensatory approach to a positive logic that acknowledges the contribution of farming to the preservation of the environment and land, and which widely promotes the adherence of producers to sustainability measures. Income support should be more subjected to the efforts undertaken by famers to improve their production methods.

·        Parallel to this policy of supporting and encouraging sustainability, it is essential to consider the need to improve the level of productivity achieved by the agricultural sector. A highly competitive and performing agricultural production is not in contradiction with sustainable production. A return to a production policy of guidance, encouragement and support, which has absurdly been relinquished through decoupling, could be argued for.

·        If we want farmers to make the necessary investments, we need to guarantee a minimum of price stabilisation through a mix of regulatory instruments (insurance systems, vertical organisation, prohibiting speculation,…). Europe also needs to show the courage to put regulation of the agricultural markets on the agenda of the G20.

For more information please contact:
Tomas Sweertvaegher
Ogilvy Public Relations
+32-2-545 6547

About the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

The Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) is a political foundation based in Brussels. FEPS is an incubator for fresh ideas and embodies a new way of thinking on the socialdemocratic, socialist and labour European scene. It puts fresh and progressive thinking at the core of its actions. These actions will be debate, reflection, training and communication. For more information please visit the website: For the online press room please click here.


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