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Brief summary of the main issues raised by the participants. Land Grabbing and Land Concentration in EUROPE. WFAL - CESE Meeting. (Nov. 2015)

WFAL - Preparatory Continental Meeting

Written by: Coline Sauzion, translated by David Reardon (Translators without borders)

Writing date: November 2015

Organizations: Association pour contribuer à l’Amélioration de la Gouvernance de la Terre, de l’Eau et des Ressources naturelles (AGTER), Centro de Estudios Rurales y de Agricultura Internacional (CERAI), Comité Économique et Social Européen (CESE)

Type of document: Paper / Document for wide distribution

As part of the regional debates of the World Forum on Access to Land and Natural Resources, the Europe at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), AGTER and CERAI organized a day of discussion on land grabbing and land concentration in Europe at the EESC in Brussels on the 16th November 2015.

The aim of the meeting was to bring together different views and analyses to identify pathways to change and concrete proposals to ensure that land use in Europe is organized in a way that meets the interests of society as a whole.

It is possible to download on that page a brief and non-exhaustive synthesis, of main issues addressed by participants during the three thematic sessions.

The document recalls that the choice of a agricultural model is a truly societal choice and that is essential that citizens become aware of the importance to maintain a peasant agriculture in Europe, for economic, social and environmental reasons.

Amongst proposals made by participants, authors have mainly withheld the following ones:

  • the necessity of regulating the different land markets

  • the revision of the current distribution of the Common Agricultural Policy’s subsidies, with:

    • the subsidies’ capping

    • the replacement of aid per hectare by aid to active people while limiting the beneficiaries of subsidies to people who work on farms

    • the granting of aid primarily for food production rather than for biofuels

    • the conditioning of their payment to an agricultural use of lands

    • the increase of the share of subsidies for environmental protection

  • the adoption of spatial planning policies for rural areas and of policies for facilitating agricultural installations

  • the indispensable character of a new alliance between rural and urban areas

These proposals cannot be adopted without a shift in the power relations. An European-scale action will be necessary to change public policies, and that will not be possible without the rallying of social movements as drivers of social transformation.

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