A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
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of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
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CAP AID AFTER 2018
The APCA suggests exchanging green payments
for an insurance-based system



Frédéric Hénin, Editor in Chief, Terre-net


Article published in Terre-net Média



The Permanent Assembly of Chambers of Agriculture (APCA) has set up a strike force to represent farmers in Brussels. Guy Vasseur, APCA President, has formed a cell of elected officials and experts to lobby for the simplification of the 2015/2020 CAP and its redrafting for the removal of green payments by 2018.

The June 2014 European elections shook France’s representation and weakened its influence within the various European institutions in Brussels. The APCA can no longer rely, as it did in the past, on a network of elected officials related to the agricultural sector to defend French farmers’ positions in Brussels. And the European Commissioner for Agriculture, appointed for four years, is very liberal in his way of thinking the economy. Finally, the disputes with the French government have APCA leaders confused about the will to convey farmers’ claims.

Within the European Parliament, only 51 MEPs out of 74 are members of political groups and parliamentary committees engaged in the construction of Europe (EPP, Psoe, the Greens, for example). The 23 MEPs of the National Front keep to themselves; they were unable to form a parliamentary group and above all, they are determined adversaries of the Common Agricultural Policy. Therefore relying on them is out of the question for support in communicating the APCA’s position.

Furthermore, the commission in charge of Agriculture, the seat held by Stéphane Le Foll, current Minister of Agriculture, is no longer chaired by Joseph Daul, MEP and farmer. Today, the only influential members at the Chambers of Agriculture are Eric Andrieu (Socialist Party/European socialist party) and in particular, Michel Dantin (Union for popular movement/European people’s party).


LEARNING TO LOBBY

The Chambers of agriculture are prepared to exchange green payments, very difficult to set up, for an insurance-based system to protect farmers from price volatility. Particularly in the dairy industry where “anti-crisis” safety mechanisms are, in expert opinion, very inadequate with regards dealing with the inevitable calamity of overproduction.

Indeed, northern European farmers are encouraged to produce more milk since they are not confronted, as are “their French colleagues, by the over transposition of environmental standards imposed on them in Paris by the successive governments in place”, lamented Guy Vasseur. For now, the APCA wants a higher intervention price.

At the European Commission, the APCA has lost valuable power brokers since the departure of Dacian Ciolos. The very liberal position of the new Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan does not reassure Guy Vasseur. One of the first consequences of this repositioning of policy is the Commission’s weak commitment to defend the beef industry in negotiations on the USA/EU trade partnership.

At the European Economic and Social Committee, the Chambers of Agriculture are represented by Christophe Hillairet, APCA board member, but the advisory functions of this institution are reducing his influence slowly but surely. That being said, the remarks made during the various debates give an indication of the positions of representatives of civil society on many topics and its 400 members represent opportunities to weave a vast network of influence throughout Europe.


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Paris, 18 December 2018