Mihail Dimitru: We have to involve the stakeholders in the process of negotiation
1. Please introduce yourself?
I am Mihail Dimitru and I am director in the European Commission, Directorate-General "Agriculture and Rural Development". And I am in charge of the rural development programs.
2. What are the main lessons of the past of the CAP?
We learned a lot of lessons in the past of the CAP. We learned that success also has sometimes some negative elements to take into consideration when you define a policy. And therefore when we look to the future of the CAP we want to avoid going through mistakes we've done in the past. There are several lessons that we draw from the past and from this lessons we try to correct the CAP to avoid going back to the effects that we've faced in the past like accommodation of stocks, like budgetary discipline, like increasing the cost of the policy, like damaging the environment and many others. But these are some elements we always look when we decide to do a new reform of the CAP.
3. Do you think that the CAP is ready for the future?
We certainly are working to make it ready for the future, this is our job. We look to the challenges ahead of us, challenges for farmers and for the administrations and we want to take into account these challenges and therefore in this package of reforms we propose a lot of elements which take into account these challenges. As I mentioned these days there are economic challenges, increased market balances and price variability and we face increased environmental constrains and challenges like climate change, like damaging the environment. We are also facing a lot of society concerns - taxpayers want to see that their money is spent correctly. We want to ensure balanced territorial development of our rural countryside. .
4. Can you tell me what role plays the CAP in your particular field?
This is the main job we are doing. The CAP has two pillars, the field I'm active, we are working on the second pillar Rural development. For the rural development we help the countryside from one side to increase the competitiveness of farm forestry and food industry, to ensure the sustainability of the sectors and also to ensure a balanced territorial development, to ensure that farmers and the population in the countryside, they live better and they want to stay and work in the countryside. Therefore we are in the middle of this process of preparing now for the future new programs to address the rural development needs so we want first to make an analyses of the needs and priorities in the rural area and base in these analyses when we are going to define new set of actions and new set of rural development programs.
5. What are your impressions for the conference?
I think these types of conferences are very useful, especially in this period when there are technical works on the package put forward by the Commission, technical work in the Council and technical work in the Parliament. We have to involve the stakeholders - the farmers, the rural entrepreneurs, the rural communities in this process of negotiation but also to involve them in giving ideas telling us what is not working in the present period, what should be done better, so we adjust the policy to fit better to their needs.
The information campaign "CAP: re:turn to the future", implemented by Strategma Agency (Bulgaria) and targeted at three other member state - Estonia, Portugal and Malta - tells about the history, developments and achievements of the CAP. At the same time it focuses on the future challenges that need to be overcome in order to meet the needs of European societies in the long term. The 50th anniversary of the CAP is an excellent opportunity to build common projects involving the main rural actors and the European citizens to reflect on and debate the importance of agriculture in our lives. The campaign wants to celebrate this anniversary with all citizens in a creative, interactive and entertaining way.