After a whole week of intense debate and voting sessions, the Plenary of the European Parliament adopted this afternoon its reports on the three legislative proposals determining the Future of the Common Agriculture Policy.
MEPs supported crucial EFFAT long-standing demands. The adoption of a social conditionality clause for CAP direct payments is a first important win in the fight to ensure EU money do not finance employers that do not respect workers’ individual and collective labour rights. A penalty up to the total exclusion of the financial contribution would be imposed in case of violation of labour laws or collective agreements. This is positive for millions of farm workers and for all those farmers that respect applicable labour standards and suffer unfair competition from those that don’t.
MEPs agreed on another crucial EFFAT’s demand by ensuring cooperation between national authorities responsible for labour inspections and the control system of the CAP paying authorities. This would be complemented by the involvement of the European Labour Authority in cross-border situations.
EFFAT regrets the Parliament’s poor ambition to strengthen the CAP green architecture including the lack of connection with the objectives of the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy. Moreover MEPs failed to agree on the introduction of a higher floor of sanctions for the violation of labour standards. The report adopted today falls also short in ensuring binding vocational training for agricultural workers in the framework of the 2nd pillar.
Overall EFFAT welcomes the decision of the Parliament which is a first important success for agricultural worker’ rights. Yet this fight is not over. It will now be up also to the Commission and Member States not to jeopardize these achievements and to further strengthen the social dimension of CAP during trialogue negotiations. In this respect it is worrying not to see any reference to workers’ rights in the Council general approach reached on Tuesday. EFFAT and its affiliates will not accept any step backwards with respect to the result achieved in the Parliament and will strengthen their efforts to finally achieve a CAP that truly delivers for agricultural workers.