An Taisce and 275 Civil Society Organisations call for real CAP reform

1st March 2013
Press Release

Broad swathe of civil society organisations ask MEPs to help ensure CAP reform follows citizens’ wishes.

The call from 276 organisations, including An Taisce – the National Trust for Ireland, is heavily critical of the stance of the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee, saying that MEPs need to act as a whole to counteract the narrow-focus Committee which has followed an unfair and biased approach and failed to deliver on its mandate.

This is battle between the short term-ism of the Committee and the interests of Europe as a whole, says An Taisce.

If the Agriculture Committee has its way “money would continue to be unfairly distributed and support would be channelled to even the most polluting farming practices, with some farmers even paid twice for the same environmental practices (a principle going against the basic treaties of the EU)”.

The letter sent to all MEPs notes that that the Agriculture Committee’s position “goes against the environment, our health, jobs, animal welfare and developing countries”, as well as “the expressed opinions of the other committees in the European Parliament”.

Signed by organisations as diverse as the New Economics Foundation and the Church of Sweden, the letter notes that the Agriculture Committee has “ignored citizens’ calls and failed to ensure that their concerns are fairly represented”.

However, in March, the full European Parliament will decide upon its final negotiating position “and the opportunity to prevent a backwards and biased reform must be grasped with both hands”.

With its recent work on the Common Fisheries Policy, “the European Parliament has proven that it can change destructive policies for the better”, and “now is the time to do the same for the CAP”.

The letter concludes asking MEPs to act on behalf of the “real public interest” when voting on CAP reform in March, and to uphold the crucial role of the European Parliament.

In highlighting the letter from citizens’ organisation, An Taisce notes that the Brussels based agri-business lobby outspends all other stakeholders by 4:1

(http://corporateeurope.org/pressreleases/2012/industrial-farming-lobby-threatens-funds-agriculturessustainability).

The voice of citizens as a whole and family farms across Europe need a voice, An Taisce concludes, asking MEPs to be that voice.

ENDS

For further information, please call:

Charles Stanley-Smith, An Taisce Communications – Tel: 087 2411995

James Nix, Director, An Taisce – Tel: 086 8394129

Email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

Notes: Link to Letter sent to MEPs