Food Commons in Europe

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* Policy Paper: The Food Commons in Europe: Relevance, Challenges and Ideas to Feed Them. Conference Paper from the European Commons Assembly, in Brussels, November 2016. By Jose Luis Vivero Pol et al.



"Food is treated as a mere commodity in European policies, legal frameworks and normative views. Food is not considered as a human right in EU charters, constitutions and legal frameworks, nor a public good subject to public policies and universal access (such as health, education or water) and least to say a commons, although many commons and community-owned resources are producing food for Europeans. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) basically deals with food as a for-profit commodity that is exclusively governed through market mechanisms, and public food policies are mostly geared to facilitate that market and to subsidise big food producers of the industrial food system. The food-producing commons do not exist in the Common Agricultural Policy. This document analyses the importance of the territories and institutions producing food in Europe by means of common resources and collective governance (commoning). They are important to mitigate climate change effects, maintain cultural heritage and landscapes, produce healthy food with agroecological practices and are reservoirs of biodiversity, participatory democracies and European history. The current EU policies are not supportive of those food commons. This document provides normative, legal, political and financial solutions to reverse that situation. The commons are a viable transition pathway to tackle the multuple crises Europe is facing."

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