Following the disappointing outcome of the January 23 vote by the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (COMAGRI) over the CAP reform, 25 farmers’ and civil society networks from 10 countries are today launching the EU-wide action: Go M.A.D. (Go Meet A Deputy!). It calls upon Europe’s citizens to directly interact with their local members of the European Parliament (MEP) and ask them how they will vote during the plenary decision on the CAP reform in Strasbourg in March 2013.
“Citizens want their tax money to be invested in green, fair and local agriculture: to protect the environment, promote agro-ecological approaches, support small farmers and rural communities, and ensure healthy food for everyone,” says Stephanie Roth, coordinator of ARC2020’s Good Food Good Farming campaign.  She adds “Instead of supporting the millions of small family farms and hundreds of millions of taxpayers, COMAGRI’s vote serves the interests of powerful agri-trade and agro-chemicals corporations that thrive on industrial farming and animal factories. Let’s Go M.A.D. and change this!”
For the first time in the fifty year history of the policy, the final agreement on the direction of the CAP for the next 7 years (with an annual budget of roughly €50 billion) must be reached jointly by the Council of Agricultural Ministers and the Members of European Parliament. As MEPs are directly elected by European citizens, the farmers and NGOs behind this campaign see a real chance for ordinary citizens to influence one of the EU’s most important legislative processes. With the upcoming EU Parliament elections in 2014, voters will want to know that their representatives in Brussels are listening.
“Rather than simply backing the decision endorsed by their agriculture colleagues, we urge all 754 MEPs who will vote on the CAP reform in Strasbourg in March 2013 to listen to their constituents,” says Roth.
A Go M.A.D. action website enables voters to find their MEPs and contact them directly by phone, email or letter, and to arrange personal meetings with them. The outcomes of the meetings will all be published on the website. A trailer on the homepage shows examples of how this can be done.
For more information see: www.goodfoodgoodfarming.eu or contact Stephanie Roth at +49 30 284 82324 and firstname.lastname@example.org
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