Rural culture, fishing and food production are just some facets of a theme, environmental sustainability, which will have a decisive impact on the European future, starting from the next electoral round, in June. Circumstance dissected during the event “The first ecologists”, organized by the group of European Conservatives and Reformists (Ecr) in Pistoia, where Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida spoke yesterday. «Timmermans’ policies (Frans, former vice-president of the European Commission, ed.) have already been defeated in the Netherlands, in his nation, and I believe that this model of Europe is outdated. Europe has to be stronger, but Europe was born in 1957 on the basis of eliminating the reasons why European nations came into conflict and led to conflict: that is, over steel and coal. Even food – added the head of the Department of Agriculture – is an element that leads to conflict and we must bring together European energies to make Europe stronger, based on what the founding fathers wanted and not what is, those who thought of making Europe weaker and less free in the name of ideology were placed in the leadership.” The words of the minister who shortly before compared the risk of interruption of food supplies to the energy blockade imposed by Vladimir Putin on most EU countries after the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war were not accidental.
In recent years, some choices made by the European Parliament have “brought us to our knees”. Therefore, to change course we need to get rid of the paradigm of green thinking – “the agricultural world, the enemy of the environment” – and, ideally, embrace the compatibility between the environment and agriculture. It is the great objective that European conservatives and reformists hope to put into practice, in case of success in the elections from June 6 to 9, 2024. At the Palazzo degli Anziani, over the two days, the most used words are management, responsibility, pragmatism and storage. Terms that clearly illustrate the vision of the conference participants, strongly supported by Ecr group co-president Nicola Procaccini, to resolve the numerous critical issues that must be faced every day across the entire sector. Quality water supply, plant diseases, depopulation of rural areas and soil fertility certainly represent some of the most complex issues. And partially unresolved. It goes without saying that all this contributes “to the daily loss of around 800 agricultural holdings which – as the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, highlighted – in most cases are less than ten hectares”. To reverse the trend, the EU will invest nine billion euros in research and innovation between 2021 and 2027: a third of this budget allows the development of tools that modernize the sector, while ensuring the protection of nature. Without forgetting the CAP (common agricultural policy) which, with its financing, aims to create 400,000 jobs in rural areas.
Two days full of debates in which numerous guests participated: among them the MEPs from the Ecr group Sergio Berlato, Elisabetta De Blasis and Pietro Fiocchi; but also the faces of the associations Massimiliano Giansanti (president of Confagricoltura), Cristiano Fini (president of the Company) and the CEO of Filiera Italia Luigi Scordamaglia. The latter declared: «Today (yesterday for those who read this) for the first time we also celebrated a series of victories for the country’s system. We are champions of the green transition like Italy, we have 65 billion euros of added value against 30 million equivalent CO2 emissions, which represents a third of Germany and half of France. Nobody has to teach us, we are constantly committed to improving but with numbers, concreteness, competitiveness and not with ideological approaches”. Also on the last day, the president of Aur (Alliance for the Union of Romanians), George Simion, spoke on the sidelines of the panel about the «Green Deal»: «We have an opportunity to change things. Italy, with the leadership of Giorgia Meloni and his coalition, can do whatever is necessary.” Before the elections, the political exponent appealed to the European right to unity, a strategy that, according to him, allows the exclusion of socialists. And precisely to achieve his objective, today he will meet with the leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, in Florence.
Source: IL Tempo
Emma Fitzgerald is an accomplished political journalist and author at The Nation View. With a background in political science and international relations, she has a deep understanding of the political landscape and the forces that shape it.