Towards a Sustainable Europe and a Sustainable Planet
As we are a part of nature, our quality of life depends on natural resources like unpolluted water, air, soil, and food in our homes. We must achieve sustainable and healthy food production for all, now and tomorrow. We advocate for a strong role of the ENVI, AGRI, PECH, and REGI committees, provided that lessons are learnt from past mistakes in EU agricultural policies. It is their duty to protect our natural resources and change nature’s exploitation into nature prospering.
Pirates demand upholding (and, wherever possible, exceeding) the ambitious environmental promises and plans made on the EU and international levels. Both regarding conservation and support of biodiversity in agroecosystems as well as greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.
Urban and suburban agriculture and gardening must be encouraged to reduce transport, provide nutrition, spread knowledge, and satisfy human needs.
In trade agreements with third countries, the EU shall avoid unfair trade practices based on its trade power. Exports of European surplus food products into third countries must be reassessed if they risk damaging the markets for local food.
Subsidies only for the public good
We want a Common Agriculture Policy that supports natural and cultural diversity. We are convinced that the multiplicity of food production, which is locally adapted and in the hands of many independent and self-determined actors, will also grant food security and quality of life in the countryside and cities.
The CAP should encourage farmers to adapt to climate change in terms of technologies and choice of crops or breeds. The CAP must provide a frame stipulating equal rights, opportunities, and commitments. The role of subsidies in European agricultural politics must change towards a greater focus on diversity and equality. Financial support must be granted according to sustainability criteria and not based on the land area or production.
As agriculture in the EU provides high overproduction and production can be marketed by standard market means, subsidies should only support the common public good. Ecosystem degradation should not be part of agricultural policy as an excuse for social issues. Pirates want to preserve and support small-scale farming and subsistence agriculture to enhance resilience.
Use of technology and digital solutions
The principle of ‘no patents on life’ must be strictly upheld. The EU shall establish the frame for open access to digital applications and open interfaces. Publicly funded data on, for example, climate, weather, soil, and water must be easily accessible to the public. The EU must ensure that any such datasets obtained using proprietary technologies will not pass into private hands.
EU should do more to incentivize practices leading to the preservation and restoration of biodiversity, water retention, and carbon capture in forests, both in terms of regulation and funding. But we have to learn from the mistakes of the Common Agricultural Policy. The goal is to help develop a sustainable industry, both in the economic and environmental sense. EU has to enforce strict protection of old-growth forests and old trees in all other parts of the landscape.
All animals deserve to be treated humanely. Pirates support strengthening measures ensuring appropriate care and management and less painful slaughter, such as the phase-out of cage farming as soon as possible, introducing species-specific standards for all farmed animals, ban on the export of live animals to third countries, and reduction of long journeys of live animals by introducing strict absolute time limits. Lack of transparency on farming conditions and education on the welfare of animals in modern farming systems needs to be addressed, e.g. by a method-of-production plus label for animal products. Pirates support further development of alternatives to meat and incentives to a shift towards a more plant-based diet.
Fishing quotas must be revamped to adapt to scientifically evident sustainability and protect small-scale fisheries. The EU should expand policies combating illegal fisheries. Marine protected areas should be granted an appropriate and harmonized level of protection by forbidding unsustainable practices harmful to biodiversity, such as bottom trawling or extractive activities. Large-scale aquaculture development should also be closely monitored to ensure animal welfare, equilibrium between feeding and fishing, and better integration in the environment and ecosystem while ensuring traceability. EU should push for enabling fish migration in rivers, especially by removing unnecessary dams.