7-8 May 2012
PRESS RELEASE: CEJA GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2012
More than 60 young farmers from over 23 EU Member States met in Brussels on 7 and 8 May for the European Council of Young Farmer’s annual General Assembly. After discussing internal issues throughout Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning was spent debating young farmers’ measures in both Pillars of the CAP reform with informative contributions from the European Court of Auditors and MEPs McGuinness and Köstinger.
M. Cretin, Member of the European Court of Auditors, accompanied by M. Pauwels, presented the Court’s opinion on four draft CAP regulations, including on young farmers’ measures. The Court considers that “the additional direct payment to young farmers will assist them in dealing with their specific circumstances” and that payment entitlements to be available to new farmers in 2014 (in particular young farmers who are beginning their agricultural activity) should “encourage innovative and dynamic farming businesses”. Following this, Elisabeth Köstinger MEP highlighted the importance of rural development to the CAP reform, stating that the “future CAP programs have to focus on the establishment of farms and the need to invest in innovation and skills. Agriculture is a driving force for rural areas and is crucial to promote jobs and growth across Europe”.
Concluding the presentations, Mairead McGuinness said that as a Member of the European Parliament she was “committed to tackling the problem of generational renewal in agriculture", and "believes that the measures proposed in CAP reform under Pillar I must be mandatory for Member States if we are serious about addressing the low number of young farmers". McGuinness also seized the opportunity of the CEJA General Assembly to urge young farmers to maintain the pressure on their own Ministers for agriculture and elected representatives throughout the reform process in order to ensure that appropriate measures are part of the final CAP reform agreement.
These thoughts were echoed by CEJA members and President Joris Baecke, who summed up the meeting by stating that “all who strive for a sustainable agricultural sector must now support the proposed measures, so as to ensure that there will be enough farmers to deliver the objectives Europe needs for the future."
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CEJA signed a partnership agreement with Rabobank on future collaboration - Read more in the joint press release here.