January 24, 2022

Agronomy students challenge Emmanuel Macron on his agricultural policy

It all started with a few teacher-researchers, attached to half a dozen schools of agronomy, political science or economics, and eager to give their master’s students a subject of study “concerning” and of news: the implementation by France of the next common agricultural policy (CAP), which should apply between 2023 and 2027. The result is a joint letter, sent Monday, December 20 to the President of the Republic, protesting against the plan French national strategy (PSN) – the set of measures responsible for transcribing the new CAP at the level of each Member State of the European Union – which is not “Clearly not up to the economic, social and environmental challenges” the evolution of the dominant agricultural model. This is largely structured by the CAP, the largest public subsidy program in the world.

About forty students, future agronomists or agroeconomists, having worked on the subject say “Not being able to silently subscribe to the proposals retained in the French PSN” and thus choose, a few days before the French presidency of the European Union, to directly question the Head of State. This address comes as France is due to submit its PSN to the European Commission on Wednesday, December 22. It is in line with a series of severe criticisms, carried by the opinions and expertise of official advisory bodies and by the competent scientific communities.

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“The common agricultural policy being a very technical subject, we divided the work among ourselves, each group being responsible for analyzing a specific area of ​​the national strategic plan”, says Gilles Collombet-Gourdon (AgroParisTech), one of the authors. The master’s students concerned from six establishments – Montpellier SupAgro, AgroCampus Ouest, AgroSup Dijon, AgroParisTech, Sciences Po Lille and Sciences Po Paris – thus worked together, before gathering their contributions and making the results public, in the form of a long letter of argued objections, addressed to the Elysee.

They conclude that the PSN “Embodies more immobility than a desire for change”. “Their approach is completely founded, estimates economist Jean-Christophe Bureau, professor at AgroParisTech and renowned specialist in agricultural policies. It is a generation that has a strong sense of urgency vis-à-vis the environmental issue: they say to themselves that it is already too late to wait another seven years to act. In my opinion, they are right, as the plan presented contradicts the stated environmental objectives. “

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