In December 2018, the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UNDROP) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in New York by a large majority of countries. This event aims to bring together representatives of UN agencies, European Union institutions, academics, experts and most importantly peasants from Europe for an exchange of views.
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Farming can only be continued if our natural resources are preserved, warns EESC
The EU needs to put greater emphasis on short supply chains and agroecology in farming in order to preserve its agriculture and make it more resilient to new challenges, such as climate change. Agroecology is also a way to secure our food supply, make our food healthier and as such raise its value. Short supply chains will help smaller farms to increase their income and enliven rural areas.
Farmers' contribution to food security and keeping rural areas alive needs to be better rewarded. Farm profitability and economic viability is a serious issue in the EU, where farmers' incomes on average amount to just 46.5% of those in other economic sectors.
EESC puts forward proposal to increase their contributions. The bioeconomy is a crucial factor in fighting climate change, responding to the growing food demand and boosting rural areas. In its opinion on the Updating of the Bioeconomy Strategy, adopted at its plenary session of 15 May, the EESC calls for better support for SMEs in the form of advice and access to finance
Organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 28 February 2019, the public hearing on 'Civil Society in Action: European Bioeconomy Strategy' brought together several representatives of different civil society organisations and institutions.
The European project should be strengthened to deal more effectively with a changing world: this was the main conclusion reached at the round table on "European policies for a world in transition: challenges ahead of the upcoming European elections”, held on 4 March at the European Commission Representation in Madrid.
EESC wants better protection of farmers in both FTAs and the food supply chain – calls for climate change to be factored into CAP policies
On 20 February, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) met with Commissioner Hogan to talk about the future CAP. Read the press release
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) believes a fully-funded, strong Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is essential and rejects any cuts to the CAP budget. The EESC welcomes the legislative proposals on the CAP, with the new focus on increased environmental and climate change ambition, subsidiarity and simplification.
While welcoming the greater freedom the new proposals on subsidiarity would give individual Member States, the EESC is keen to ensure that the CAP remains a common policy with a strong single market.
The CAP reform must strengthen the financial position of farmers, as well as their position in the supply chain. A strong well-funded CAP is essential for sustainable and viable agriculture in the EU. The CAP's provisions must attract and support young farmers and facilitate generational renewal. This includes a strong first pillar that ensures a fair income for active farmers and an incentive for the delivery of public goods, and a second pillar that corresponds to the Cork 2.0 declaration and better supports Europe's rural areas.
The current framework does not lead to sustainable food systems, warns the EESC
The current EU framework does not suffice for a transition to more sustainable food systems. A comprehensive food policy is urgently needed in order to improve coherence across food-related policy areas, restore the value of food and ensure the effective implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said at its plenary session on Wednesday.