The European Parliament works on its position on the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). Based on its position on the reform of the CAP, EPHA and EPHAC (the European Public Health and Agriculture Consortium) have made an analysis of the draft reports of the European Parliament
The EP draft report on the CAP towards 2020 was pubished by the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development on Febuary 15. The draft report was prepared by Albert Dess MEP (Germany, EPP). The main emphasis of the report is greening the CAP through the second pillar, rural development, and ensuring that the necessary budget is moved from pillar 1, direct payments and market measures.
Shortly after, a draft opinion by the ENVI committee was published (to be adopted in April), focusing on strenthening environmental measures. The opinion was presented in the ENVI Committee on 16 March 2011.
EPHA together with EPHAC contributed to both processes with their analysis and suggested improvements from a public health perspective.
Both the report and opinion from ENVI, leave much to be desired in relation to public health, and in fact less ambitious than the Commission communication and Impact assesment.
EPHA and EPHAC’s analysis suggest that more focus should be placed on:
CAP’s contribution to the EU 2020 strategy with health and health equity, chronic diseases, poverty and "agricultural biodiversity" at its center;
Equity of direct payments between new and older Member states, and between large and small holdings;
equity and sustainability of production and consumption;
public health protection and social cohesion through rural development and encouraging local and regional food systems;
continuing decoupling of direct payments, ensuring deliver of public goods conditional on a minimum set of good agriculture practices, environment and public health criteria to ensure that EU goals for sustainable development are met;
giving greater autonomy in decision-making on the part of farmers, local producers;
rural development funding to focus on new challenges, agro-ecological innovation, social and economic development including improved access to public services and infrastructure in rural regionas, especially weaker rural regions, and including support for regional and local food systems as a strategy for inclusive growth;
promote gender equality by facilitating women’s employment on farms and in rural areas, equal ownership rights, access to pensions and direct payments;
the CAP relates to farmers and the public in general - who are both taxpayers and consumers and both benefit from nutritious and safe food, a healthy environment, good health, prospects of jobs, so focus should be placed on providing public goods. Agroculture must provide food in sufficient quantities and at appropriate prices for both producers and consumers;
food prices paid by Europeans can consitute a significant proportion of income and still approximately 43 million people are at risk of food poverty in the EU and poor nutrition is one of the strongest detrimental determinants of health associated with lower socio-economic status, poverty and social exclusion;
current agricultural challenges cannot depend solely on technological solutions but require addressing current consumption patterns, waste and complex relationships between environment, biodiversity and human health;
EPHA and EPHA have made suggestions for amendment to the draft report and ENVI opinion.
For more details on the timeline and procedure, contact Dorota Sienkiewicz
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