Conference of Common Agricultural Policy Against Crisis

Agriculture is at the heart of society and the economy. It ensures food security and sufficiency of the planet, providing renewable raw materials, protecting the environment, creating jobs and keeping alive and healthy social and economic fabric of the region...


 About CAP

Agriculture is at the heart of society and the economy. It ensures food security and sufficiency of the planet, providing renewable raw materials, protecting the environment, creating jobs and keeping alive and healthy social and economic fabric of the region. It is a strategic activity that is part of the new development strategy of Europe to create the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The establishment of the European Community with the signing of the Treaty of Rome was among others looking to strengthen the unity of the economies of the Member States, to promote the harmonious development, the joint economic and trade policy. Within this framework, a common policy in the field of agriculture and fisheries is also included. The data obtained basically regard to the creation of CAP were: the particular nature of agricultural activity as a result of the social structure of agriculture, structural and natural disparities between the various regions the need to effect the appropriate adjustments the fact that agriculture constitutes a sector closely linked with the economy

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the past 50 years has constituted one of the most important policies of the European Union. During all these years the CAP has absorbed a large proportion of the EU budget (about 45%) and it has dealt with a timeless problem, that is protecting the agricultural sector from the weaknesses of the free market. Those two facts justify CAP and its importance. So it goes without saying that the role of the CAP is intrusive in the European economy and its implementation was a "revolution" in Member States (MS) of the then European Economic Union (EEC), and the current European Union (EU), as it was in fact the first consolidated policy among the EU countries.

Goals and Objectives
The main goals of the CAP, as these are defined in article 33 of the Treaty of Rome, are:

  1.  increasing agricultural productivity
  2.  ensuring a fair standard of living for the agricultural community
  3.  stabilizing the market
  4.  ensuring provision
  5.  ensuring reasonable prices for consumers

CAP in 2013-2020

"The new CAP must find the right balance between different priorities. Public support is what allows us to reconcile the economic, environmental, social and territorial priorities.
The new CAP should ensure

   1.  enhancing competitiveness and sustainable agriculture
   2.  ensuring the long term viability of farmers
   3.  encouraging farmers to adopt good agricultural practices
   4.  ensuring agriculture and employment in the region, particularly in disadvantaged areas

Public funding should be allocated more correctly and the reasons for granting it should be apparent to taxpayers. The historical pattern of distortions created, has now been removed. But equally, the amount of aid and justice are not identical. These should be objective and realistic. The type of agriculture, climatic / environmental conditions and socio-economic data will play a role in the level of aid.

The structure of the two pillars of the CAP will remain. The first pillar concerns the entire European Union and the annual aid given to all farmers face major challenges to be faced by European agriculture."

About the Project

The current project wishes to bring together European citizens sharing common regional, history and cultural backgrounds in order to exchange opinions and ideas on the current European state and its future. The participation of the relevant municipalities (Evrotas, Popovo, Capannori and Calimanesti) enhances the opportunities of dialogue which are now more necessary than ever, given the economic challenges that we are asked to face.

The CAP Against Crisis project was based on European Union's initiative for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a set of standards for enhacing the agricultural life: its quality, its productive and its efficiency. The aim of the current cooperation is to promote direct exchange between European citizens through their participation in twinning activities and to encourage networking between municipalities on issues of common interest.

Through the implementation of a series of coordinated and collective actions, we aim to incorporate a range of activities aimed at promoting a structured and sustainable thematic networking, and to lay the foundations for future initiatives and actions between the participating cities on the issues to be considered or possibly future issues of common interest.

his project has been funded by the European Commission, under the Europe for Citizens Programme. The aim of this programme is to “bring Europe closer to its citizens and to enable them to participate fully in the European construction”. It is in the interest of the programme, and as an extension of the CAP Against Crisis project to follow a citizen-oriented philosophy , enforce cooperation on an cross-European level and create a sense of belonging to the common European society.

In particular, the CAP Against Crisis project was submited under Action 1: Active Citizens for Europe, thus aiming in bringing people together, encourage meetings, discussion and debates on European life and values, under a framework of exchanging experiences, opinions and cultures.

Indeed, the partners of this project are learning from one another on how to face the common problem of the current economic crisis and how to enhance their common core financial activities (farming and agriculture). The twinning which is being realized among the relevant areas' local authorities fosters exchange and cooperation.

Project Partners

Municipality of Evrotas
Located in southeast Peloponnese, Greece, the Municipality of Evrotas was originally created from the convergence of local pre-existing municipalities (Elous, Krokon, Skalas, Niaton, Geronthron) under the Kallikratis Framework. Its current area covers a total of 654,3 sq.m. and its population counts 19.803 citizens. The region is filled with olive groves and agriculture is a key activity for the citizens and local development. What is more, regional authorities and local businesses have taken care to comply with high standards of quality, thus recognizing their products according to PDO, PGI and LQP.

The municipality took its name from the River Eurotas that crosses the entire region and empties into the Gulf of Laconia. The rich natural environment that has been created by the river offers a great variety of flora and fauna.

It is one of the last important wetlands in southern Greece, which is included in the European network NATURA: over 210 species of rare birds have been recorded, as well as freshwater turtles, water snakes, eels, eagle, black stork and others endangered species.

The economy of the municipality is based on farming and a significant proportion of 67.5% of the working population (about 12,076 people) is employed in the primary sector. 7% (about 1252 people) are employed in the secondary sector, while 19.5% (about 3488 people) are employed in the tertiary sector. The economic activity of the municipality Eurotas relies almost entirely on the primary sector of the economy.

The municipality is mostly agricultural, with great production of citrus, olives and olive oil. The agricultural land of the municipality corresponds to 36.7% of the total area. The reasons that have shaped significantly the agricultural character of the area are its geographical position, mild Mediterranean climate, fertile soils and the existence of water resources.

Much of the arable land of the municipality is being used for the production of olives. The olive oil is a product of Geographical Indication (PGI) of exceptional quality, and an estimated 80% comes mainly from the "Koroneiki" oil extraction variety. The area of Krokees produces olive oil marked with Quality Designation of Origin (PDO).

The excellent organoleptic characteristics of 'Kalamata' olives as well as their significant production, make the products competitive.

Finally, pastoral land, which includes municipal and private pastures corresponds to 51.9% of the total area of the municipality. It is worth noting that livestock production is increasing from 25000 sheep in lowland areas of the municipality Eurotas.

More Informations:
 - Description of the Municipality of Evrotas 

Municipality of Popovo
The Municipality of Popovo is located in the northeastern area of Boulgaria and it is part of the Danubian Plan. It is named after its main town, Popovo, literally meaning "the priest's village". The total area covered is 833 sp.Km and its population counted 31.479 citizens by the year of 2009. It is indeed a big municipality, being composed of 34 places and hosting various ethic groups of population (Bulgarians, Turks, Roma and more). The majestic nature and the fertile fields surrounding the area have favored the development of various activities oriented upon farm lands, such as and including agriculture, farming, horticulture, organic farms, eco-holidays and more.

Municipality of Calimanesti
The Municipality of Calimanesti is located in southern Romania, named after its main town. It is situated in the historical region of Oltenia and on the traditonal road connecting the area with Transylvania. The Calimanesti area favors the development of agriculture, horticulture and organic farms for the production of fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, the location holds several thermal springs and the Calimanesti town is in fact known as a spa center.

Municipality of Capannori
Capannori is a commune in nothern Tuscany, western Italy. Named after its main town, the area is characterized by a number of distinctive towers, old churches and acres rich in fertility and production. The region favors the development of agriculture aqnd holticulture activities, farming houses and the production of a wide range of products.

Programme of Activities

The event lasted a total of six (6) days, from Friday March 1st up to Wednesday March 6th.

Presentations and workshops were followed by panel discussions and exchange of opinions among the delegates. Representatives of local and regional authorities, researchers on rural and agricultural development, young and old farmers attended this event.

An exhibition of local products and visit to prototype rural businesses also took place.

Last but not least, the participants had the opportunity to explore the transnational nature of the project and meet better the partner countries, through visits and activities for exchanging culture.

More Informations:
 - See the schedule 

Material & Results

Friday, March 1, 2013

Introduction 1:
    a. "Watch Letter - Innovative Rural Development in the Mediterranean." by K.Mattas-E.Loizou
    b. "TFST - Shedding fresh light on food industry’s role: the recession’s aftermath." by K.Mattas-E.Tsakiridou

Introduction 2: "Successful examples of agricultural entrepreneurship in Greece." by D.Voloudakis

Introduction 3: "CAP after 2003. Suggestions and Highlights." by I.Kolivas

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Laboratory 1: "Marketing strategies and opportunities for promoting agricultural products to the international market." by E.Tsakiridou

Laboratory 2: "Strengthening competitiveness and innovation in rural sector, New opportunities of work." by A.Michailidis

Laboratory 3: "Quality management in the food industry and food security." by A.Kontogeorgos

Laboratory 4: "Regaining the lost connection to land and food products." by M.Partalidou

Introduction 4: "The role of biotechnology in the production of genetically modified food." by I.Tsaknis

Introduction 5: "Developments and Prospects of employment in Greek agriculture." by C.Stavropoulou

Introduction 6: "Promoting Competitiveness & Innovation under the CAP framework, after 2013." y G.Simatou

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Introduction 7:
a. "CAP - Policy on Agricultural and Rural Development: An interactive relationship." D.Chalikia
b. "CAP 2014-2020: Reform of CAP." OPEKEPE, D.Chalikia
c. "CAP 2014-2020: Management, funding and monitoring." ΟPEKEPE, D.Chalikia
d. "CAP 2014-2020: Direct payments." OPEKEPE, D.Chalikia
e. "CAP 2014-2020: Rural development." OPEKEPE, D.Chalikia

Introduction 8: "The CAP after 2013. Suggestions and comments for rural development." by M.Smiris

Introduction 9: "Financial Instruments: Lever for development of rural entrepreneurship." by G.Aletras

Introduction 10: "Taxation in farmers & Rural Cooperative Organizations (RCO). New taxes on real estate for farmers." by K.Anastasopoulos

Introduction 11: Local Authorities and Third Sector: Promotion of European Programmes." by S.Milionis
Tuesday, March 4, 2013

Introduction 12: "Greek National Committee for UNESCO" by Μ.E.Papahristopoulou-Tzitzikosta

Introduction 13: " Presentation of Municipality of Popovo"

Introduction 14: "Presentation of City of Capannori"