Christiane Lambert, president of the first French agricultural organization, the FNSEA, hopes for a “common deal” between France and Germany on the next common agricultural policy (CAP), like the one sealed between Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder in 2002.
After being delighted with Emmanuel Macron’s proactive speech on agricultural Europe delivered on Saturday at the opening of the agricultural fair, the manager expressed concern over the microphones of France Inter about Germany’s attitude. While the French president pointed to “differences” within the Union and called on “the Union” to ensure food security on the European continent against China and the United States.
“We all remember that the Chirac-Schroeder agreement was foundational for the Common Agricultural Policy. It is the Franco-German couple that is decisive. The question today: will Ms. Merkel be also involved vis-à-vis the CAP? Will France and Germany find a common deal vis-à-vis agriculture? “, Ms. Lambert worried.
The withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union, which should automatically lead to a 15% reduction in the European budget, could “represent up to -7 or -8%” of subsidies for each French farmer, estimated Ms. Lambert.
“The CAP is a single food market, and therefore it is very important to preserve it. We ask that, on agriculture and food, with climate change and the environment in codicil ( in a complementary chapter, editor’s note), we can find an agreement “she added.
In 2002, Jacques Chirac and Gerard Schröder had concluded an agreement on agricultural Europe, which made it possible to unblock negotiations on the enlargement of the EU to the east, and allowed all the peasants of the old Europe to is to benefit from subsidies and modernize their agriculture.
Everyone then took a step. Germany had given up on reducing the overall amount of agricultural aid, and France had accepted the principle of a maximum amount per farm for such aid. Berlin feared that enlargement would lead to an explosion in the CAP budget, of which it is the main contributor.
A “solutions contract”
In response to requests from the ecologist Yannick Jadot, head of the EELV list for the European elections, who wants 50% of the budget of the future CAP to be directed towards peasant and ecological agriculture, Ms. Lambert argued that agricultural policy common already contains “a lot” of environmental elements and “obligations for farmers”.
“7% of the farmers who are members of the FNSEA board of directors are organic farmers, this is the equivalent of the French percentage” she added, recalling the French objective of reaching “15%” of organic farming areas.
She indicated that the FNSEA signed Monday evening a “solution contract” with the Ministry of Agriculture and 43 partners, to reduce the use of synthetic phytosanitary products.
On glyphosate, which must be eliminated in three years in France, she cited two cases of possible exemptions: vineyards and sloping orchards, where it is very difficult to weed “on the back of a man”, and agriculture conservation campaign “which banned plowing for carbon capture”.
Sunday, “the minister indicated that we would be around 15 to 20% of situations where it should be kept”, according to Ms. Lambert.