Last month, a majority of Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of a disappointing CAP deal, that is shamefully more than insufficient to face the climate and biodiversity crises and change our unsustainable farming model. This is why the alliance behind the ECI Save Bees and Farmers calls on the Commission to unplug the CAP discussions and make a new proposal that lives up to the objectives of the European Green Deal.
Towards the end of October, the three main political groups in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party, Renew Europe and the Socialists & Democrats, agreed on a deal for the CAP vote that does not integrate meaningful reform and pushes for business as usual. The three groups, representing a parliamentarian majority, exerted pressures to rush the votes, and some of the numerous CAP amendment votes were brought forward at the very last minute, leaving little time for other MEPs to carefully assess them. Overall, the voting process was considered rushed and untransparent by many observers.
On October 20, the final vote had taken place, leaving European citizens with a CAP deal prioritizing economic interests and including only weak environmental measures. This new CAP is a missed opportunity to put environmental, climate and social justice at the heart of European agriculture for years to come, and sounds like a death sentence for biodiversity, bees and small farmers. It is also very bad news for climate change. Environmental NGOs, Members of the European Parliament and activists condemned this unambitious deal in these times of environmental emergency. The climate activist Greta Thunberg stepped in to denounce the lack of democratic debate around this essential vote.
And now, what? The final agreement has not yet been reached: the proposal for a new CAP must first go through negotiations between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Agriculture ministers. There remains a last chance to fix the CAP’s future, if the European Commission decides to withdraw this proposal and make a new one, this time in line with the environmental ambitions of the European Green Deal. Now, the future of our agriculture lies in the hands of the Commission. Vice-president for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans has expressed his willingness to withdraw the CAP, but the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen and other Commissioners are more reluctant to take this step.
Along with many European NGOs and climate activists, the alliance behind the ECI Save Bees and Farmers supports the #WithdrawtheCAP campaign as our last resort to make a real change in our farming model. As a recent report requested by the European Parliament confirms, the current CAP is inconsistent with the objectives of the European Green Deal. Therefore, we call on the European Commission President Von der Leyen to take her responsibilities towards European citizens and the Commission’s strategies for sustainability, and withdraw this CAP.
As the Save Bees and Farmers alliance, we also demand a CAP negotiation process that is transparent and open, ensuring citizens have the possibility to participate in this important decision. Now more than ever is the time for citizens to mobilize and reclaim their democratic rights: we must put pressure on the European Commission before it’s too late.
In addition to taking part in the social media campaign to #WithfrawtheCAP, signing and sharing our Save Bees and Farmers initiative will also increase pressure on politicians to plan a transition of EU agriculture towards agroecology.