Agriculture is coming to town: On 18-19 July 2010, Place Sainte Catherine in the heart of Brussels will be transformed into a genuine rural fair and food market with stands from all 27 Member States, inviting people to discover the variety of quality food and services that European farmers produce.
Organised by the European Commission, the market will kick off on Sunday morning with an opening ceremony at 11 am, featuring Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloș, Belgian Minister for Agriculture, Sabine Laruelle, and the Bourgmestre of Brussels, Freddy Thielemans.
With free access for the general public, the market aims to give the Bruxellois and the city's visitors a taste of European agriculture in all its richness and diversity but also vulnerability. From Lapland to Limmasol, from Cork to Constanta, the 27 Member States will be present at the market square, offering free tastings of their best national food specialities and beverages: fruits, meats, bread, beer and everything that the heart – and stomach – could desire.
The ambience of the fair is conceived to beguile all senses: the mouth-watering smell of cured ham, the lingering creamy taste of a really good cheese, and of course - in the spirit of rural fairs - the bold, cheery tones of traditional music. Throughout the opening hours of the market, the main stage offers a variety of musical and other artistic performances from every corner of the EU, ranging from typical Bulgarian dancing to resounding Irish folk music. The local group of artists, Les Bonimenteurs, will also add to the ambience of the market with traditional games and diversions.
The rural fair is organised in the context of a conference on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy which will take place on 19-20 July 2010. This event will see more than 600 participants discuss the outcome of the public debate which drew a record 6000 contributions from the general public, stakeholders and think-tanks from all over Europe
On the menu: two days of gastronomic and rural adventures in the heart of the European capital!