Common Agricultural Policy Vote 12th March– You Decide!

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is in the last stages of a big decision where 50 billion euro’s and the course of the CAP between 2014 and 2020 are to be decided.

 After long cross-party negotiations the EU Parliament’s Committee on agriculture, (COMAGRI) voted in late January 2013 to seriously water-down the CAP reform.

 Their proposal makes it even less responsive to ecological protection measures and even more supportive of large scale and corporate production at the expense of small-scale farmers that the last round of CAP.

Their proposal seeks, among other things, to keep the sums and recipients of agricultural subsidies confidential (these sums amount to over 1 million pounds per year in the case of some recipients and are tied to the size of land holdings); to make compliance with greening measures voluntary; and to invest public tax money designated for rural development in private schemes to insure against price fluctuations.

On the 12th of March 2013 the EU Parliament and its MEPs will as a whole will vote in plenary on the disastrous reform proposals endorsed by COMAGRI. This is the first time in the 50 year history of the CAP that MEP’s and the Agricultural Committee will have to vote together on the proposal, and the last chance for civil society to influence the vote.

MEP’s will tend to go with the opinions of ‘expert’ advise and committees, but are to some degree accountable to constituents. It is really important that you contact all the MEP’s in your area explaining your concerns and asking them how they will vote.

All MEP’s are in their constituencies next week (11-15th February) so you can try to arrange a meeting with them. You can also write to them or email them before the 12th March to try and persuade them to vote against the COMAGRI’s proposals.

A useful 2 page document for understanding the issue can be found here:

http://www.goodfoodgoodfarming.eu/fileadmin/files/goodfoodmarch/GoMAD/Whats_at_stake_GoMAd_en.pdf

The Following links also provide simply and easily understood document outlining the issues:

DEFRA INFO on CAP: www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/farm-manage/cap-reform/

The Land is Ours info: www.tlio.org.uk/reformCAP

Via Campesina on CAP reform: www.eurovia.org/spip.php?article720&lang=fr

The Agriculture and Rural Convention has info on the CAP reform: ‘understanding CAP’, ‘Tools and Links’, ‘Lets go mad’, articles: all be found on www.arc2020.eu

You can find the MEP’s for your area here:

http://www.europarl.org.uk/view/en/your_MEPs.html

The CAP uses huge amounts of public money and is the policy that has the single biggest influence on our food and farming systems. It is important to ensure it is used for common good and the development of food sovereignty.

If you would like a template letter just e-mail us at yorkleycourt@gmail.com

 

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