European farmers mobilised around the latest CAP trilogue – Negotiators must reach a good compromise this week!

European farmers mobilised around the latest CAP trilogue – Negotiators must reach a good compromise this week!

Despite COVID-19 limitations, the EU farming community was mobilised today at the call of Copa and Cogeca in front of the European Parliament as the CAP trilogue negotiations continue. A symbolic action was organised in partnership with the Belgian agricultural federations (FWA, Boerenbond). The European organisations expressed their exasperation as the EU farming community has beenwaiting for more than three years for a clear and coherent line on the CAP while at the same time the EU is pushing the European Green Deal targets without even considering the cumulative impacts on the sector.
In the manifesto accompanying its mobilisation, Copa and Cogeca stressed two clear and strong demands: European decision-makers must find a good compromise today on a balanced and coherent common agricultural policy, and they must seriously consider the cumulative, multiple and complex impacts of all policies on the European farming community. A message that the European organisations also conveyed visually through the symbolic fall of a domino game featuring the main policies that have an impact on the sector.

Since the launch of the European Green Deal in 2019, the debate on the CAP has become further polarised and basic farming realities and the contributions that farmers have already made towards sustainability are constantly overlooked. The CAP proposal that is currently being discussed will be everything but a “status quo” for European farmers. In addition to the standards already in force, farmers will have to work with the new enhanced conditionality, the proposed eco-schemes, and the environmental and climate measures in Pillar 2, taking up a bigger share of the budget, at the same time as doing more with less money due to the CAP budget also shrinking.
Tim Cullinan, Copa Vice-President who took the floor during the action said, “If policymakers fail to make the CAP realistic, workable and simple, and instead fail to ensure that other policy areas offer solutions and support to farmers to cope with their challenges, they will undermine both the European Green Deal and the income of millions of farmers. The gap will widen and one by one the effects of these policies, like dominoes, will fall on the backs of farmers with the capacity to crush European agriculture at a fast-growing pace.”

In a couple of years, half of EU farmers will be retired, thus having an unprecedented impact on our food supply chain and on our territories. At the same time, the European Green Deal will show its effects. The Farm to Fork strategy, the biodiversity strategy, the Climate neutrality targets, the EU trade policy, the CAP eco-schemes, the environmental and climate measures in Pillar 2 or the new animal welfare requirements will have cumulative and contradictory effects on all European farms.
European farmers are ready to commit to the transitions that we know are necessary for the climate or biodiversity provided their income is not squeezed. There are no climate deniers in agriculture, we are the first to see the effects of climate change on our farms. However, we will not be able to without proper incentives, without a level-playing field with imported products and without support for our resilience.

O artigo foi publicado originalmente em Copa Cogeca.

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