In the debate about the European Constitution, several professional authorities in charge of the field of agriculture have expressed in favor of the ratification of the Treaty. Even more recently, some of us have decided to group this “plural” Yes in federations. More than 100 agriculture leaders have spontaneously backed our common declaration of May 11th.

In fact, the agriculture sector faces social and economic difficulties that reflect the dissatisfaction that exists related to the guidelines and types of the C.A.P. (Common Agricultural Policy), but we have to stay alert in front of the mixtures around which the “NO” proliferates. We believe that the project of the European Constitution should not be blamed for the situation that exists as it provides tools to give a long-lasting nature to European agriculture. The project of the Constitution allows preserving the principle of a common agriculture policy and its main guidelines as it retakes the articles of the Treaty of Rome. And that is something; let us remind to the agriculture community that some countries rejected the principles of the CAP. In addition, the Constitutional Treaty increases the influence of France, the first European agricultural country, among the deciding authorities. The expansion of the field of the qualified majority, considering the rule of double majority, places France in a very good situation to create coalitions, in majority or minority, in the heart of the Union to make its own opinion prevail. Likewise, as citizens and farmers, we may be affected by the increase of influence of the chosen authorities, particularly because the European Parliament has shown its interest in agriculture. In addition, the Treaty vouches, through the Charter of Fundamental Rights, for the high level of demand of European citizens in regards to feeding, and it provides the means to have a more coherent international commercial policy. Finally, the sixth reason is that the project of the Treaty also includes new dispositions about the cohesion that will be extended to the territories and which, until today, was only of a social and economic nature. Today, in a more open world, we need to maintain certain regulation. We have to resort to all of these political and legal instruments that they give us. These instruments appear in the Constitutional Treaty but not in the Treaty of Nice.

Source: Le Figaro (France) Reference: « Les paysans disent oui!», by Luc Guyau, Jean Salmon, Jo Giroud and Eugène Schaeffer, Le Figaro, May 24, 2005.