Public Policies

Chang­ing pub­lic poli­cies gov­ern­ing our food and agri­cul­tur­al sys­tems

Our strug­gle includes chang­ing pub­lic poli­cies and gov­er­nance struc­tures that rule our food sys­tems – from the local to the nation­al, Euro­pean and glob­al lev­els – and to dele­git­imise cor­po­rate pow­er. Pub­lic poli­cies must be coher­ent, com­ple­men­tary and pro­mote and pro­tect food sys­tems and food cul­tures.” (Nyéléni Europe Dec­la­ra­tion, August 2011)

Cur­rent Euro­pean and glob­al pub­lic poli­cies have a pro­found effect on food sys­tems, reduc­ing local and region­al con­trol and pri­ori­tis­ing cor­po­rate inter­ests over the rights of com­mu­ni­ties and small-scale pro­duc­ers. Heav­i­ly influ­enced by the demands of transna­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions, they have brought sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the resilient agri­cul­tur­al and food sys­tems that are best suit­ed to meet the chal­lenges posed by the sys­temic crises in neolib­er­al glob­al­i­sa­tion.

In our strug­gle to devel­op poli­cies that return dig­ni­ty to all those involved in con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion of food, democ­ra­tiz­ing the struc­tures of pub­lic pol­i­cy is para­mount; we seek to curb the influ­ence of cor­po­ra­tions at all lev­els – from local to nation­al, Euro­pean and glob­al lev­els – and call for greater par­tic­i­pa­tion in pub­lic pol­i­cy devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion. Redefin­ing how pub­lic poli­cies are for­mu­lat­ed, such that the broad­est pos­si­ble cit­i­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion is the prime objec­tive, should be the first step in enter­ing the debate on pol­i­cy for­mu­la­tion.

Reori­ent­ing Euro­pean and glob­al pub­lic poli­cies towards the prin­ci­ples of food sov­er­eign­ty requires reform of both the con­tent of those poli­cies and the process­es to devel­op them. First and fore­most, this means curbing the influ­ence of cor­po­ra­tions at all lev­els and democ­ra­ti­sa­tion to ensure the broad­est pos­si­ble cit­i­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion.