A new bill for more production with fewer barriers before the Council of Ministers

The key agricultural law of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term is finally being implemented. Postponed several times, draft partially rewritten after farm crisis at the beginning of the year “Guidance Law for Agricultural Sovereignty and Generational Renewal in Agriculture” It comes to the table of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday 3 April, before a scheduled examination in the National Assembly in May and then in the Senate in June.

Sovereignty and agriculture as “key common interests”

The agricultural law now has nineteen articles structured around three components – sovereignty, establishment and simplification. Prompting a thorough redrafting of the text in the home stretch, in collaboration with the majority union, the National Federation of Agricultural Operators Unions (FNSEA), it opens with a preamble declaring “of major general interest” Agriculture, fishing and aquaculture, a promise made by the President of the Republic during the inauguration of the Agricultural Show at the end of February.

“The declaration of major common interest will not have an immediate significant impact, but it is a long-term issue. This makes it possible to balance public policies and keep agriculture on an equal footing with the environment.Declaration of Major Public Interest in 1976, states the office of the Minister of Agriculture, Mark Fesnew. “This will support the interpretation of the administrative judge responsible for ruling on the legality of this or that agricultural project”The ministry adds.

However, organizations are concerned: “There could be very concrete effects, for example in the event of a conflict between agricultural imperatives and public health imperatives, tipping the scales in favor of agriculture. ,Analyzes Marion Vigneau of the Nourir Collective, which brings together fifty farmer unions and organizations.

The Government also intends to enshrine in law the need to protect food sovereignty with this text, without truly defining the concept. The state must ensure that “To preserve and improve the ability of the EU to ensure its food supply within the internal market and within the framework of its international commitments”Thus indicates the bill, which also refers to “The agricultural sovereignty of the country is linked to the sustainable production of biomass (Energy from agriculture, forestry and waste production) on the area”.

The Ministry believes that there is not much to be said about these definitions, leaving it to MPs to clarify their outlines. “The bill sets out a framework but does not provide a definition of food sovereignty”Underlines Véronique Marchesseau, Secretary General of the Confederation Paysanne. “Sovereignty has been held up as the guiding axis of public policies, but the proposed framework does not comply with the UN definition of food sovereignty, In its declaration on farmers’ rights of 2018, in which human rights are fundamental ,Underlines Mathieu Courregue, vice president of breeder and noir in Vendée.

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