Strasbourg (F), 19 November 2010.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) welcomes the readiness of the European Commission to establish a Common Agricultural Policy more focused on the environment. However, it is equally important that rural developmet plays a central role within the CAP.
“The No. 1 objective of the CAP must be sustainable development of dynamic and innovative rural areas; benchmark quality agriculture, economic diversification and real territorial cohesion should be the three incontrovertible pillars”, commented Claude Tremouille, Vice-Chairman of the Commission of Economic and Regional Development of the AER and Vice-President of Limousin (F), on the publication of the European Commission Communication on the CAP.
Enhanced governance based on the principles of partnership and terriortial cohesion is the sine qua non condition for the success of the CAP. An effective CAP is a flexible CAP that can count on strengthened local actors.
“We, the regions of Europe, emphasize the importance of balance in the CAP between agricultural interests and sustainable regional development. We are ready to share our comments on these proposals with the European institutions on the basis of our experience in the field” affirmed Harry Keereweer, chairman of the AER Group on ‘Agriculture and Rural Development’ and Regional Councillor of Gelderland (NL).
One thing is certain: the coming publications of this communication and 5th report on cohesion must lead the decision-making bodies to examine the coordination between these two policies. Crucial bridges must built between the two policies if we are to give rural areas the tools to grow beyond the agricultural sector.
AER will be taking part in events and meetings with European leaders to ensure the voice of the regions is heard.
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