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In Strasbourg, a peasant agropade against agribusiness

2019-10-22T17:49:39.658Z

Environmental organizations and farmers want to weigh in the negotiations on the future CAP for a renewed European food and agricultural model.



Activists from environmental and international solidarity organizations, consumer organizations and representatives of organic and peasant agriculture demonstrated in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday 22 October. FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP

Around a thousand people, on Tuesday 22 October, were marching past the grids of the European Parliament in Strasbourg to demand a more just and sustainable Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Activists of environmental associations and international solidarity, consumer organizations, but also representatives of organic and peasant agriculture, come to the call of two platforms of action French (For another CAP) and German (Wir Haben Es Satt - We have enough). Their aim is to make MEPs aware of the challenges of the future CAP, which are currently being discussed, while the latter still have to approve the composition of the new European Commission.

At the head of the procession, a giant bee is swamped by pesticides, climate change and Asian hornet attacks. The opportunity for beekeepers to remember that in twenty years, the population of flying insects has decreased by 80%. "We keep the bee population at arm's length, confirms Michel Kernéis, president of the Beekeepers Federation of Alsace. Today, to prevent hives from starving, we provide our bees more sugar than they produce honey. To turn the tide, our agriculture needs to make room for crop aids instead of using pesticides and using more nectariphous seeds. The new CAP must accompany farmers in this transition. "

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Debates delayed because of Brexit

Initiated in June 2018, the discussions related to the reform of the CAP should result in a better consideration of environmental and climate issues. But the Brexit and the difficult negotiations of the future budget of the European Union have delayed the debate. If the European Parliament has examined the text in committee before the European elections, the vote in plenary is not planned before 2020. This leaves time, according to the members of the collective, to "recalibrate" that which is the most important European Union policy in terms of budget (€ 56bn per year).

"The new CAP will not be decided in the next few days; the goal is to be present and to lay the groundwork. The other aspect of our action is to link the two worlds that peasants and citizens form, " says Clément Pairot, coordinator of the movement Pour une autre PAC.

Before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Tuesday 22 October. FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP

Created in 2017, this platform is at its third mobilization, after the organization of a round table in the Senate in late 2018, and about thirty citizen debates across France. In February, at the Salon de l'agriculture, she presented a 12-point program. These include support for organic farming and the development of territorial food production chains, the valorization of small farms, the creation of support for the ecological transition for farmers and above all the setting up of payments for services. returned to the environment.

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The platform also calls for a move away from ex post climate change coverage to upstream financing, to encourage farms to adapt, the establishment of market regulation mechanisms, the end of subsidized exports and the refusal of any new free trade agreement.

In agribusiness, the fifty or so member associations oppose peasant agriculture, closer to citizens' demands

A program largely in line with that of the German movement "Wir Haben Es Satt", which has shown since 2011 for an evolution of the agricultural model, during the "green week" of Berlin (the equivalent in Germany of the agricultural fair ), but also in Brussels. In agribusiness, the fifty or so member associations oppose peasant agriculture, closer to the demands of the citizens. "We are not against German farmers. In the last ten years, 100,000 farms have disappeared. We demand that small farms be supported; for that, the entire European society must change, " says Saskia Richartz, campaign manager.

Before the European Parliament, Strasbourg, Tuesday 22 October. FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP

Arriving at the foot of the chamber, the "agroparade" was greeted by fifteen members of the Progressive Alliance (S & D), the Free Alliance (Greens) and the United Left. " We need you. Make noise, do not hesitate to disturb our agricultural policy, " says Maria Noichl, member of the German Agriculture Committee (S & D). "We will not let go," promises Nicolas Giraud, spokesman for the peasant Confederation. To weigh in the upcoming debate, environmental and agricultural organizations will have to continue their mobilization.

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Nathalie Stey (Strasbourg, correspondence)

Source: lemonde

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