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before the council of ministers, a new bill to produce more, with fewer constraints

2024-04-03 03:45:06

The major agricultural law of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term is finally coming into play. Postponed several times, partly rewritten after the agricultural crisis at the start of the year, the draft “guidance law for agricultural sovereignty and generational renewal in agriculture” arrives on the table of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday April 3, before a scheduled examination in the National Assembly in May then in the Senate in June.

Sovereignty and agriculture of “major general interest”

The agricultural law now has nineteen articles structured around three components – sovereignty, installation and simplification. A sign of the profound reworking of the text in the home stretch, in collaboration with the majority union, the National Federation of Agricultural Operators’ Unions (FNSEA), it opens with a preamble with the declaration “of major general interest” agriculture, fishing and aquaculture, a promise made by the President of the Republic during the inauguration of the Agricultural Show at the end of February.

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“The declaration of major general interest will not have an immediate significant impact, but it is a longer-term issue. This makes it possible to balance public policies and place agriculture on the same level as the environment”declared of major public interest in 1976, explains the office of the Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau. “This will support the interpretation of the administrative judge responsible for ruling on the validity of this or that agricultural project”adds the ministry.

However, organizations are concerned: “There can be very concrete impacts, for example in the event of dispute between agricultural imperatives and public health imperatives, to tip the balance in favor of agriculture »analyzes Marion Vigneau, of the Nourrir collective, which brings together fifty peasant associations and organizations.

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The government also intends, with this text, to enshrine in law the need to protect food sovereignty, without truly defining the concept. The State must ensure “to preserve and improve its capacity to ensure its food supply within the framework of the internal market of the European Union and its international commitments”thus indicates the bill, which also mentions “the agricultural sovereignty of the country, linked to the sustainable production of biomass [l’énergie issue de la production agricole, sylvicole et des déchets] on the territory “.

The ministry believes that there is not much to say about these definitions, leaving it to parliamentarians to clarify their contours. “The bill sets a framework but does not provide a definition of food sovereignty”underlines Véronique Marchesseau, general secretary of the Confédération paysanne. “Sovereignty is placed as the guiding axis of public policies, but the proposed framework does not comply with the United Nations definition of food sovereignty, in his declaration on the rights of peasants of 2018, in which human rights are fundamental »underlines Mathieu Courgeau, breeder in Vendée and vice-president of Nourrir.

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