Let's face it: there are many problems to be addressed in European agriculture, but the Green Deal has little to do with it.
The European Green Deal is unfairly becoming a convenient scapegoat for all discontents and is a set of laws, rules, and funding that should help us avoid the climate catastrophe that we see more clearly every day: just to say, droughts and floods alone cost the agricultural sector more than EUR 5 billion in 2023; and the Green Deal - don't get me wrong, Prof. Damiano Palano, who wrote about it two days ago - is a very important one. Damiano Palano, who wrote about it two days ago in GdiBs, is certainly not the result of the choices of distant European 'elites', but of science, an important part of the productive world and the mobilisations of millions of young people. In this regard, we also note that, unlike the scattered demonstrations, however inappropriate they may be, which by blocking traffic or throwing harmless coloured substances on walls or glass, or simply demonstrating, aim to signal the enormous gravity of the climate crisis and which sometimes have to face heavy judicial proceedings, the actions of occupation and blocking of roads, when not destruction and outright vandalism by farmers around Europe generally find support and backing from the media and public opinion, and indulgence from the public authorities. Yet they are basically two sides of the same coin, an economic and social system that needs to change and cannot agree on the way and means to do so effectively and fairly.
The Green deal is unfairly placed in the dock for at least two reasons: first, because most of the vast European green reform programme in agriculture has simply remained a dead letter, demolished with the contribution of the same organisations and lobbies that are now leading the revolt in many countries and cleverly recuperated in an anti-European key by the right. The increase in production costs, to say the least, is due more to excessive dependence on fossil fuels and the consequent increase in bills than to green standards. And with systematic efforts, the Commission's proposals on pesticides, increased organic cultivation, nature restoration, industrial emissions, packaging have all been greatly scaled down and the sector's big emissions problem (34%) remains virtually untouched, almost uniquely among the production sectors. The second reason that makes the attack on the Green Deal unjustified is that, as many farmers who do not share the content of the protests, but have been fighting for years for a reform of the CAP, making European agriculture less reliant on intensive practices in energy, water, pesticides in a word more sustainable, less dependent on large-scale distribution, and therefore less industrial and closer to the consumer is the only way to save its quality and economic sustainability.
In short, in the countries where the riots have broken out, people are protesting for different reasons and with different methods, and it is very risky to put them all on the EU's account, even if they all share the excessive bureaucratisation and the (inevitable) reduction of subsidies as 'background music'.
It is a fact, however, that the CAP must be reformed, if only because 80% of the subsidies, which weigh more than 30% of the EU budget, go to 20% of the farms, because the excessive bureaucracy favours intermediaries and corporations, because the criterion of quantity over quality still applies despite many attempts at reform, and because the many farmers who have decided to 'go green' have no specific advantages or support.
The protests blocking our roads must be addressed with reasonableness and empathy because so many people can no longer sustain the fatigue and costs of an activity that is indispensable for everyone: but without running after the propaganda of those who think that there can be a flourishing agriculture in a destroyed environment and that agriculture can continue to consider animals and plants as cogs in a factory.