Farmers in the European Union and worldwide are currently very exposed to increasing fluctuations in farm prices. The present international trade rules, resulting from the GATT/WTO agreement in 1994, have formatted agricultural policies and globalized agricultural markets. In the EU, the "Community preference", one of the original pillars of the CAP, has been replaced by global farm prices and direct payments to farms.
High price volatility, often at too low level to make a living from, has led to repeated farm crises that result in the disappearance of increasing numbers of farmers and are liable to deter young people from going into farming. To save family farming in the EU and worldwide and to preserve vibrant rural communities, it is essential to tackle the roots the problems and question the present international trade rules.
In its opinion on "the CAP post 2020", the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) calls on the EU to use its influence as the world's largest food importer and exporter to change the international agricultural trade rules introduced in 1994 (WTO) so as to encourage greater fairness and solidarity in trade relations.
This conference has a double objective:
- to launch a political momentum for debating how the present international trade rules affect the CAP, worldwide farmers, agricultural trade, food and planet and why it is necessary to change these rules
- to debate on proposals to change the agricultural international trade rules into fair, sustainable, and solidarity based rules.
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