Greater involvement of local suppliers of food, fertilizers and energy in the establishment of emergency and global stocks;
Rural areas play a strategic role for climate and food security, with local food value chains providing stabler incomes while involving small farms;
More diverse local food production to safeguard EU food security
Investment needed in sustainable and high-quality local production
development and implementation of a long-term strategy to ensure basic food security, including at regional level; funding projects aimed at increasing food security at regional level to ensure the security of local communities; changes in the CAP of a more structural nature
The rapporteur presented the opinion in the EP AGRI Committee meeting on 28 November 2022. In addition, he also held a series of meetings with relevant stakeholders and MEPs.
End of June 2023, Mr Calbecki hosted the CoR NAT commission meeting and a conference on food security in his native Kujawsko- Pomoriskie region, with participation of inspiring speakers, such as the MEP and the EP rapporteur on food security Marlene Mortler (DE/EPP) and the Director of the European Commission on CAP strategic plans, Ms Christina Borchmann.
At his occassion, Mr Calbecki stressed that "a fundamental revision of the European Union's agricultural policy is needed. The European Union at the level of individual regions should become much more self-sufficient in food. Our food needs to improve in quality and promote health. Food production could be an extremely innovative field and provide an impetus for the development of modern regions. The European Union should not support totalitarian regimes and countries that are degrading their environment by buying of food, fertilisers or other agricultural inputs from them."
The EP adopted its resolution on ensuring food security and long-term resilience of the EU agriculture on 14 June 2023.
Both, the CoR and EP report underline the need to strengthen the food security in the European Union, enhance the strategic autonomy and the resilience of its agricultural sector while reducing its dependence on imports from third countries and diversifying the supply of critical imported products such as fertilisers, animal feed and raw materials.
Whereas the EP report stresses that the pandemics and Ukraine war expose structural problems in the European agricultural sector and pose significant risks to Member States’ agricultural markets, the CoR opinion highlights the need to introduce profound and structural changes and prepare for future crises in the European agricultural sector.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- stresses the urgent need to address the weaknesses of EU countries' food systems in order to introduce profound and structural changes and prepare for future crises;
- strongly supports the willingness to enhance the EU's food sovereignty and achieve greater autonomy by encouraging regional and local diverse food production;
- stresses that the EU's actions in the area of food security [...] should be used not only to address the current problem, but to bring about changes in the Common Agricultural Policy of a more structural nature in order to improve quality of life and the competitiveness of the EU economy, and also to achieve significant environmental benefits in areas related to food supply;
- calls on the European Commission to complete this work on food security contingency plans in order to develop and implement a long-term strategy to ensure basic food security at regional level [...]; suggests, in this connection, the widespread use of local food plans developed in several European countries;
- calls on the European Commission to place greater emphasis on funding projects aimed at increasing food security at regional level to ensure the security of local communities, at least for the time needed for allied countries to organise aid.