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IATP's Alexandra Strickner is blogging from the fifth European Social Forum taking place in Malmö, Sweden, from September 17-21.

Given the current social and ecological crisis facing the food system in Europe and elsewhere, the Assembly on Food Sovereignty held during the 5th European Social Forum in Malmö decided to work together to build a European movement for food sovereignty. Participants to the assembly included the European Coordination Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth Europe, Attac groups from different European countries, civil society groups working on genetically modified organisms and for a moratorium on agrofuels, Red FAL (a network of local communities working toward sustainable local food economies) and consumer groups. The participants of the assembly concluded that in order to move toward food sovereignty in Europe, the development and construction of a socially and ecologically sustainable food system is needed. In addition, key European policies regulating the food system and agricultural production must be strengthened and reformed.


The focus on reforming policy may spur a renewed debate on the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). To date, only a few groups have engaged in the discussion and shaping of the CAP, and overall, the work around food and agriculture policies has been rather fragmented in Europe. This network will hopefully develop strong joint campaigns and collaboration toward reforming the food and agriculture system in Europe.

Several concrete first steps have been agreed upon by the participants of the assembly for work in 2009:

- Developing communication tools that support European collaboration on food sovereignty;

- Making April 17 a European-wide day of action for Food Sovereignty in Europe;

- Ensuring a strong presence (and visibility) at the Anti-G8 mobilization in Italy (early summer) and the climate justice mobilizations in Copenhagen (December); and

- Jointly organizing a European Forum for Food Sovereignty in late 2009 or early 2010.



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