Update on Petition - Preserving and managing farmland as our common wealth
Update from Adam Payne, ECVC and Veronique Rioufol, Terre de liens
Here are finally some good news on the petition "Preserving and managing farmland as our common wealth", which you signed, together with over 80 organisations from across Europe. The petition is accessible in several languages at:
As you may remember, the petition was submitted to the Petition Committee of the Parliament in February 2015, as a way to bring land issues on its agenda. In a context where the Commission and the Parliament are reluctant to debate, regulate and plan land policies on a European level, the petition advocates that farmland is indeed a European issue, and a major issue for agricultural and rural renewal. It asks the Parliament to monitor the land situation and assess the impact of existing EU policies, to make the best of the current CAP to support peasant farming, agroecology and entry into farming, as well as to support the adoption of an ambitious communication and strategy on “land as a resource”, and to put forward a Directive on fair and sustainable access to farmland.
After almost one year in the pipes of the European Parliament, the petition was finally declared eligible. It took a bit of a political mobilisation, as the secretariat of the Petition Committee initially wanted to close it, without any parliamentary debate. Instead, the petition has now been sent to the Agricultural and Environment committees of the Parliament, as well as to the Commission for them to address the points raised in the petition. They should send their answers back to the Petition Committee before summer. AGRI and ENVI committees may have a bit of a debate in one of their upcoming session.
The context is particularly favourable for more debate on access to land and land concentration as the AGRI Committee recently approved the writing of an own initiative report on "access to land", to be conducted by Maria Noich (SD/ Germany).
ECVC, Terre de liens and AIAB, as promoters of the petition, are currently discussing how best to act and mobilise support among MEPs so that the petition fosters debate about the necessary policy changes. We will get back to you within the next few weeks with ideas and proposals.
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