Connect with us

Economy

Major engagement initiative to be launched in first three months of new #Commission 

SHARE:

Published

on

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Ursula von der Leyen addressed the European Parliament, July 2019

The European Commission intends to launch an EU-wide campaign of engagement with citizens to present its political priorities in its ‘first hundred days’ of office, writes Catherine Feore 

In a draft document outlining the European Commission’s priorities, the next Commission will agree on what they describe as a ‘joint narrative’ at their first college seminar, which will be presented through what they describe as "multilevel cycle of consultations" on the ground.

The draft document discloses that this will be backed-up with a large scale "back to school" operation, to be carried out in co-operation with national regional authorities, to be accompanied by a major communication effort including: TED-style talks; a new podcast series with journalists from across the EU;  and, ‘all’ commissioners participating in citizen’s dialogues. While some of the current commissioners did participate in similar discussions with the public, others were less than enthusiastic.

Advertisement

The new approach seems to look to French President Emmanuel Macron's Grand Débat launched in January 2019, in response to the 'Gilets Jaunes' and a general sentiment that the government was not listening. Macron's engagement lasted two months and involved town hall meetings, an online consultation and a "book of grievances" in which citizens could let the state know what policies were making day-to-day life difficult.

The idea is that this period of extensive consultation will feed into the policy areas and the actual legislative proposals that emerge in the months or years after the first hundred days. The Commission’s document is careful to clarify that they are in no way usurping the role of the European Parliament and want to take a “complementary” and “nourishing” approach.  

Like the initiative on the Future of Europe, where each head of government addressed the European Parliament, the Commission is eager to involve the member states. One of the lessons from Brexit is that allowing ministers and heads of government from the EU-27 to constantly criticize and blame Europe or Brussels for every problem, not only undermines the EU as a whole, but makes it more difficult for each state to combat domestic anti-EU voices.  

Advertisement

European Central Bank (ECB)

ECB's Lagarde keeps door open to higher inflation

Published

on

By

Inflation in the eurozone could exceed the European Central Bank's already raised projections but there are few signs of this already happening, ECB President Christine Lagarde (pictured) said on Monday (27 September), writes Balazs Koranyi, Reuters.

"While inflation could prove weaker than foreseen if economic activity were to be affected by a renewed tightening of restrictions, there are some factors that could lead to stronger price pressures than are currently expected," she told lawmakers at the European Parliament.

"But we are seeing limited signs of this risk so far, which means that our baseline scenario continues to foresee inflation remaining below our target over the medium term," she added.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Agriculture

Agriculture: Launch of an annual EU organic day

Published

on

On 24 September the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission celebrated the launch of an annual ‘EU organic day'. The three institutions signed a joint declaration establishing from now on each 23 September as EU organic day. This follows up on the Action Plan for the development of organic production, adopted by the Commission on 25 March 2021, which announced the creation of such a day to raise awareness of organic production.

At the signing and launch ceremony, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said: “Today we celebrate organic production, a sustainable type of agriculture where food production is done in harmony with nature, biodiversity and animal welfare. 23 September is also autumnal equinox, when day and night are equally long, a symbol of balance between agriculture and environment that ideally suits organic production. I am glad that together with the European Parliament, the Council, and key actors of this sector we get to launch this annual EU organic day, a great opportunity to raise awareness of organic production and promote the key role it plays in the transition to sustainable food systems.”

The overall aim of the Action Plan for the development of organic production is to boost substantially the production and consumption of organic products in order to contribute to the achievement of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies' targets such as reducing the use of fertilisers, pesticides and anti-microbials. The organic sector needs the right tools to grow, as laid out in the Action Plan. Structured around three axes - boosting consumption, increasing production, and further improving the sustainability of the sector -, 23 actions are put forward to ensure a balanced growth of the sector.

Advertisement

Actions

To boost consumption the Action Plan includes actions such as informing and communicating about organic production, promoting the consumption of organic products, and stimulating a greater use of organics in public canteens through public procurement. Furthermore, to increase organic production, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will remain a key tool for supporting the conversion to organic farming. It will be complemented by, for instance, information events and networking for sharing best practices and certification for groups of farmers rather than for individuals. Finally, to improve the sustainability of organic farming, the Commission will dedicate at least 30% of the budget for research and innovation in the field of agriculture, forestry and rural areas to topics specific to or relevant for the organic sector.

Background

Advertisement

Organic production comes with a number of important benefits: organic fields have around 30% more biodiversity, organically farmed animals enjoy a higher degree of animal welfare and take less antibiotics, organic farmers have higher incomes and are more resilient, and consumers know exactly what they are getting thanks to the EU organic logo.

More information

The action plan for the development of the organic sector

Farm to fork Strategy

Biodiversity Strategy

Organic farming at a glance

Common Agricultural Policy

Continue Reading

Agriculture

Common Agricultural Policy: How does the EU support farmers?

Published

on

From supporting farmers to protecting the environment, the EU's farm policy covers a range of different goals. Learn how EU agriculture is funded, its history and its future, Society.

What is the Common Agricultural Policy?

The EU supports farming through its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Set up in 1962, it has undergone a number of reforms to make agriculture fairer for farmers and more sustainable.

Advertisement

There are about 10 million farms in the EU and the farming and food sectors together provide nearly 40 million jobs in the EU.

How is the Common Agricultural Policy funded?

The Common Agricultural Policy is funded through the EU budget. Under the EU's budget for 2021-2027, €386.6 billion has been set aside for farming. It is divided into two parts:

Advertisement
  • €291.1bn for the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, which provides income support for farmers.
  • €95.5bn for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, which includes funding for rural areas, climate action and the management of natural resources.

How does EU agriculture look today? 

Farmers and the agriculture sector were affected by COVID-19 and the EU introduced specific measures to support the industry and incomes. Current rules on how CAP funds should be spent run until 2023 due to delays in budget negotiations. This required a transitional agreement to protect farmers’ incomes and ensure food security.

Will the reform mean a more environmentally-friendly Common Agricultural Policy?

EU agriculture accounts for about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. The reform should lead to a more environmentally friendly, fairer and transparent EU farm policy, MEPs said, after a deal was reached with the Council. Parliament wants to link CAP to the Paris agreement on climate change, while increasing support to young farmers and small and medium-sized farms. Parliament will vote on the final deal in 2021 and it will come into effect in 2023.

Agriculture policy is linked to the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy from the European Commission, which aims to protect the environment and ensure healthy food for everyone, whilst ensuring farmers’ livelihoods.

More on agriculture

Briefing 

Check legislative progress 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending