Agriculture: EU funds should be linked to respectfor workers’ rights

read in italian

Rome (NEV), 18thFebruary 2021 – the clause on “social conditionality” already approved by the European Parliament on 21st October 2020, makes the provision of assistance to agricultural businesses contingent on respect for employment conditions provided for by contracts and national, European and international law.  Right now negotiations are underway between the European institutions on reforming the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and EFFAT, the European union for agricultural workers, yesterday  (17th February) published an open letter seeking to have that social conditionality confirmed.  In other words, respect for rights and safeguards for workers should become a sine qua non for thosewhoreceive EU funds.

The document (whichyou can readhere) was signed by more than 300 organisations including unions (CGIL, CISL e UIL), environmental and volunteer organisations, personalities and employment scholars, including FCEI’s refugee and migrant programme, Mediterranean Hope. The Federation of ProtestantChurhceshas in factbeenworking in the Piana di Gioia Tauro, with MH, to safeguard the rights of migrant workers engaged as agricultural labourers, and in the promotion of an ethical supply chain.

The letter was sent yesterday to Ministers for Agriculture of the EU member states, to the Commissioners and MEPs involved in CAP negotiations.

Participating organisations include Caritas, Fair Watch-per una Economia solidale, l’istituto di formazione Schola Campesina, Medu-Doctors for Human Rights, Mediterranean Hope (Federation of Protestant Church), Stella Maris (an organisationalsoknown as the Maritime Apostolate), Slow Food Italia, Symbola-Fondazione per le qualità italiane, Terra!Onlus, Terra Viva.


“It is unacceptable to see that respect for human rights and employment rights does not carry any weight in the allocation of financial assistance to agencies through the CAP,” explains EFFAT in introducing the initiative.  “We are convinced that social conditionality linked to the distribution of these European public resources would contribute to an improvement in the living and working conditions of millions of agricultural labourers.  Without respect for employment norms, the CAP will never be truly sustainable”.

FAI CISL, FLAI CGILand UILA, the three union acronyms which have promoted the intitative ultimately requested a meeting with the new minister for agricultural policy Stefano Patuanelli. Its objective: to discuss the content of the open letter and to seek the Italian Government’s commitment to sustaining within Europe the principal of social conditionality in a new, more equitable and sustainable, CAP.