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Ossi Martikainen becomes chair of NAT commission  
Local councillor Ossi Martikainen (FI/ALDE) from Lapinlahti was elected chair of the European Committee of the Regions’ Commission for Natural Resources (NAT). The NAT commission’s remit includes the common agricultural policy, fisheries policy, food policy and consumer affairs, health policy and tourism.
Ossi Martikainen has been a member of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) since 2004. He has drawn up important opinions, including those on reducing food waste and EU food aid for the most deprived . Martikainen also represents the CoR in the European Commission’s platform on reducing and preventing food waste in Europe.
"I'm proud to be entrusted by the CoR members to lead this commission over the next two and a half years. Its remits are broad and all the topics we cover are close to what matters to Europeans: be it healthy food, local farms and fisheries, traveling or getting medical assistance at home and abroad. Our opinion on food waste has helped push this important item up the EU agenda. The European Commission has recognised that the activities of local authorities can significantly reduce food waste”, notes Martikainen.
Martikainen’s term-of-office will last two and a half years, during which time the NAT commission will be closely involved in the discussions on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) –whose CoR opinion was adopted last July. As chair of the NAT commission, Martikainen is eager to draw particular attention to the situation of northern and sparsely-populated areas.
“It is important to ensure that agricultural production can continue to be carried out profitably across all regions of the EU, since there can be no vibrant rural environment without agriculture. The CAP is one of the few policies where decisions are taken entirely at EU level. The CoR has asked for the CAP budget to remain sufficiently high and has emphasised the need to support young farmers and family farms in particular,” Martikainen points out.
In a debate chaired by CoR President Karl Heinz Lambertz and First Vice-President Markku Markkula at the NAT commission meeting on 26 September, members discussed how the different scenarios put forward by the European Commission on the way forward for the EU would influence the future of the CAP and other areas under the NAT commission’s remit. In this regards, the CoR has launched an extensive consultative process entitled Reflecting on Europe aimed at collecting citizens' concerns and expectations about Europe's future. Citizens and local and regional authorities are also invited to share their views via an online survey.
Christophe Clergeau (France, PES), Member of the Pays-de-la-Loire Regional Council, and Mark Weinmeister, State Secretary for European Affairs, Land of Hesse (Germany, EPP) were also elected First and Second Vice Chair of the NAT commission.
Note to editors
  • Photos of the meeting are available on the CoR Flickr account
Lauri Ouvinen
Tel. +32 2 282 2063
Wioletta Wojewódzka
tel. +32 2 282 22 89
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