The CAP must improve job creation in rural areas
GUE/NGL MEP Paloma López spoke today of the importance of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in promoting job creation in rural areas particularly for young people. The MEP tabled an opinion, which was passed with minor amendments, at the Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) committee of the EU Parliament in view of influencing the 2017 mid-review of the CAP.
López argued for keeping the budget of the CAP and strengthening its social role paying special attention to small-scale farming, social farming, organic farming and territorialisation of agricultural activity.
"To create decent jobs and guarantee decent incomes, we must reverse the liberalisation of agricultural policies in the EU, but this is not sufficient. We must also address the challenges lying ahead. Sustainability requires a shift towards social farming and organic production, which should be given greater support,” said López.
The GUE/NGL MEP criticised the liberalisation of the agricultural sector and the threat of free trade agreements such as TTIP on farmers’ income and livelihoods. "Rural areas are particularly hit by the effects of austerity policies. In order to fix population and ensure a decent standard of living, the right to public services, along with universal minimum income schemes, must be guaranteed".
Young people must be given priority in the CAP with the MEP stressing the need for more support to this vital group to ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector.
López concluded, "Access to land is a key issue in many European countries. We need to build on existing national practices such as public grants and cooperative banks that ensure that young people can take up an agricultural activity.”
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20