Dear Visitor, welcome to my webpage. Thank you for showing an interest for my fields of work: agriculture and rural development. This is an area that has always interested me, throughout my studies and then as a professional.
Having worked the fields myself, I know how it feels to rely on the weather for a good crop, to despair when prices give you less than you counted on, or to rejoice in a good year. I understand a farmer's longing for stability and a predictable income - and I understand that, for many of you, working in agriculture is more than just a job.
Like all of you, I am a consumer too. And as such, I want good, healthy food at affordable prices. Eating healthily should not be seen as a luxury reserved for the fortunate of this world, but rather as a public good that everybody should have access to.
Work comes with taxes. As tax-payer, I want to make sure that public money is well spent and those who use it are accountable. This is why I see myself accountable not only to EU Member States and EU Parliament, but also to each and every tax-payer in the EU, including you.
At the same stage, I must underline the importance I see in maintaining a strong and common agriculture policy for Europe, in order to maintain safe and sufficient food, produced at high standards, and also help our farmers to improve their structures to be more competitive. This will help maintain and create jobs and growth in rural areas and bolster the Single Market. In addition, I believe that policy has a role to play in allowing farmers to address the significant new challenges that we all face, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, water shortages and increased energy demand.
Building a solid future for our rural Europe is no easy task. Interests are many and views are diverse. They all come from legitimate concerns. They all need to be expressed and heard. It is through open and public debate that I understand to build the ownership that the Common Agriculture Policy of the EU needs in order to be truly European.
As part of this public debate, your views are welcome and your advice appreciated.