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Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment (NAT)

The Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Section (NAT) is responsible for a broad range of issues, such as the common agricultural policy (CAP), food sustainability, environmental protection, the circular economy, the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change.

Air quality, biodiversity, waste management, fisheries, forestry, organic farming, food safety, animal welfare and civil protection are some of the specific topics we work on.

The Section is currently chaired by Brendan Burns, from Group I (Employers), who has been a member of the Committee since 2006. The section is composed of 98 members.

Besides its opinions, the Section also organises numerous hearings and conferences to gather the views of civil society. It has a huge network of contacts within the EU institutions, national authorities, economic and social partners and NGOs.

We are convinced that better agricultural and environmental policies could provide solutions to the economic crisis, which has had such a damaging impact on European growth, employment and purchasing power.

We need to safeguard the 40 million jobs in the agricultural sector, preserve our forests and countryside, and cut food waste, since one third of what we produce currently ends up in the rubbish bin.

With this goal in mind, the Section’s recent work has covered practical topics such as the CAP reform, balanced territorial development, sustainable food systems, the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change and the transition to a more sustainable European future.