Where is the social legitimacy of this?
(Brussels, 13th March 2013) Contrary to the communication message released by the European Parliament following the CAP reform vote, the CAP will be neither more equitable nor more capable of guaranteeing food security. Nor will to be much greener if the final decision follows the position taken by the Parliament.
The refusal to lower the symbolic threshold of the ceiling at 300.000€, proposed by the European Commission, per famer, is an insult to tax-payers, to the European Court of Auditors, and to the millions of small- and medium-sized farms that receive less than 20% of the CAP funds.
At a time when the financial and economic crisis is resulting in significantly increases in both unemployment and poverty, the fact of granting 80% of funding to big farms is a bad signal that will fail to draw taxpayers any closer to the European Union.
The Parliament approved the deregulation of markets as proposed by the Commission with just a few small modifications. This is the opposite of providing food security for the European Union. Extending sugar quotas and the rights for vine-growers to plant more vines is a credit to parliamentarians. It is far better to take preventive action and avoid sectorial crises by regulating markets than taking curative measures; it will also cost far less.
As far as the environmental legitimacy of direct payments is concerned, the pale greening voted through by the European Parliament is sadly not a reflection of the measures needed to combat climate change, or to deal with the stakes of biodiversity, soil and water. Large-scale factory farms and greenhouses will not be affected by the new measures, to the detriment of the environment, quality and working conditions.
The citizens of Europe elect the European parliamentarians, but they seem to be listening more closely to the agribusiness lobby than to those who elected them in the first place.
Will our Ministers prove to be more far-sighted next week when they take their positions on these issues?