Peace, Land and Dignity. Our movement in the 2024 European elections

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The writer has decided to join the Peace, Land and Dignity movement established by Michele Santoro – on the basis of the values ​​shared in the attached programme – n view of the upcoming elections for the European Parliament to be held between 6 and 9 June 2024.

We hope to be able to bring to Strasbourg the voices of the population that in recent years neither the European Union nor the Member States have wanted to consult, before taking decisions with a huge impact on the lives and existence of us all. Below are some concrete proposals.

1) PEACE

The Europe was built on the ashes of the second global conflict, and it’s today on the brink of a third world war which will have no winners or losers, but only deaths and disasters. European citizens are paying for the war-mongering choices of ‘strong powers‘ with the most serious social and economic crisis of the last 70 years:

– EU sanctions on Russia and the sabotage of the North Stream pipeline have caused an energy crisis that was entirely predictable but deliberately ignored. (1) Giving up Russian methane has forced us to depend on the unsustainable’shale gas‘, the higher costs of which have paralysed every productive sector in the EU

– the 180 billions in ‘aids of the European Union to Ukraine, to which are added the generous ‘aids‘ from the Member States, has diverted resources to the war industry that should instead have gone to public health, education and research, welfare and social assistance, pensions, agriculture and food sovereignty.

The mass poverty that is presented to us as ‘inevitable’ has generated extra profits for the financial giants who speculate on the populations through banks, energy suppliers, insurance companies, agricultural commodity monopolists, industrial giants and large-scale organised distribution (3,4).

The war economy has so far caused over 750.000 deaths, millions of displaced people and tens of thousands of disabilities, in the name of a conflict between third countries that European citizens never wanted. A war that should have been avoided and must now be stopped with the tools of diplomacy, to find a new multipolar balance.

2) LAND

Food sovereignty – understood as the right to food and land, self-determination and control of the means of production, value of labour, ecological transition supported by public aid (5) – is our starting point, in line with the values and goals shared internationally by the La Via Campesina movement.

European agri-food policies must be reformed first of all in the following measures:

A) #fairprice. EU Directive 2019/633 on unfair commercial practices must be reformed so as to guarantee the exact estimation of the actual production costs of agri-foodstuffs at each stage of the chain, in the individual districts, the transparency of electronic stock exchanges and the prohibition of sales below cost (to be included in the ‘Blacklists‘ of practices that are always prohibited). Consumers must be able to know the prices paid to farmers and processors. Controls must be entrusted to the authorities in charge of fiscal controls (6)

B) Family and peasant farming. Family and peasant farms represent 94,8% of the total, at European level, but their needs are still ignored in the name of the (conflicting) interests of the agro-industrial oligarchies, which devour the bulk of the Common Agricultural Policy, and the seed and pesticide monopolists. (7) The UN Declaration on the rights of paesants and rural workers (UNDROP) must be implemented in the CAP through substantial redistribution of aid and bureaucratic simplification of (inalienable) social and environmental conditions. (8) To enable them to care for the land, landscapes and people.

C) Agroecology. Soil productivity, the reduction of agricultural and hydrogeological risks must be promoted with direct aid and income support for European farmers, breeders and shepherds. Such aid must be precisely targeted at the conversion of monocultures into polycultures, rotations and traditional agronomic practices, the replacement of toxic chemical substances with pesticides and fungicides allowed in organic farming (with particular attention to biostimulants, e.g. algae, microalgae and tannins, mycorrhizae), circular economy and animal welfare (9,10,11). Without risking the deregulation of new GMOs, and the slavery of their patents. (12)

D) Stop soil consumption. Soil sealing (e.g. cement, asphalt) is a primary cause of loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as increased hydrogeological risks. Cement continues to devour agricultural land and natural areas, also to feed the oligarchic business of solar panels – which should instead be installed on warehouses and other constructions, including road and railway edges – and wind turbines (which should instead be installed in the sea, miles from the coast). (13) The European Union must implement the soil protection strategy, dispersed in the legislature now in its twilight years, with absolute rigour. (14)

E) Consumer information. Regulation (EU) 1169/11 must be reformed to ensure that consumers are informed about the country where the food is made and the country(ies) where the primary (>50%) and significant (i.e. characteristic) ingredients are sourced, without any derogations. (15) It is also necessary to strengthen and harmonise protection for allergic and intolerant consumers, with regard both to information on foods sold loose, pre-packaged and served in public establishments, and to tolerances in cases of accidental contamination (16)

F) Free trade agreements. The ‘free trade agreementmust be changed, in the parts that concern trade in agricultural and food commodities. A reciprocity clause must be introduced to guarantee compliance with food safety standards, workers’ rights and fair compensation, and protection of the environment and biodiversity. (17) As well as a ‘carbon tax‘ on intercontinental transport. Tariff quotas must be updated every year, taking into account agricultural production and the needs of individual production chains.

3) DIGNITY

People are at the heart of our political movement that aspires to fight for the dignity of all human beings, no one excluded. In line with the objectives and activities carried out by the non-profit association Égalité ETS , founded by the writer in 2019. Dignity means recognising in practice, to each person, the equal rights and opportunities that today exist only on paper. Social justice instead of sporadic handouts. In practice:

A) Guaranteed minimum income. EU Directive 2022/2041 introduced some minimum requirements on equal opportunities, access to employment, social protection. (18) Without, however, prescribing to Member States the adoption of suitable criteria to ensure a guaranteed average income to allow workers a decent living, taking into account the cost of living. A guarantee all the more indispensable in the services sector – which in Italy expresses 73% of workers, often self-employed – exacerbated by the ‘gig economy‘. (19) The Directive should therefore be called into question.

B) Poverty, unemployment and benefits, pensions. The risk of poverty or social exclusion has reached the endemic level of 22% of the European population, over 95 million people, even before the recession caused by the boomerang effect of sanctions on Russia (Eurostat data, 2021-2022). With a marked prevalence among people with disabilities and those with a medium-low level of education (20,21). The EU must introduce unemployment benefits with training and social work obligations, free nursery schools, (22) guaranteed minimum pensions for people unable to work and the elderly.

C) Disability. The National Observatory on Health in the Italian Regions reports 13 millions people with disabilities, who ‘often live alone and the services dedicated to them are scarce, as are the resources allocated to them‘. (23,24). The very limited resources for the severely disabled, over 3 million in Italy, as well as for mothers and caregivers (25,26), are being cut everywhere. From the government of Giorgia Meloni to the Lombardy Region of Attilio Fontana, to the Roma Capitale of Roberto Gualtieri (27,28,29). Furthermore, the European Union has never bothered to guarantee the application of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, 2006). (30) Completely ignored with the ‘institutionalisation’ of the weakest, as well as with the ubiquitous cultural and architectural barriers.

D) Health. On 23 September 2019, the 194 member countries of the UN committed to ensuring an adequate level of universal health coverage by 2030. The corresponding commitment to ‘invest at least 1% more of GDP in primary healthcare‘ (31) has, however, been diverted to armaments, at least in EU countries, resulting in the collapse of an increasingly privatised public health system. After the Covid socio-economic disaster and the ‘vaccines‘ saga between unsolved suspicions of corruption, (32) false promises and side effects, pseudo-health dictatorship and extra-profits.

E) Food safety. Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission betrayed its commitments to review the Regulation of materials and objects in contact with food, as well as that of chemicals ubiquitous in everyday objects (33,34). He failed to consider the health risks associated with microplastics, and ultimately – in agreement with the lobbies of the agrochemical giants, as well as Coldiretti and representatives of European landowners – withdrew the proposal to reduce the use of the most dangerous toxic chemicals in agriculture (35,36). While cancers and neurological diseases associated with their exposure are advancing.

4) PEACE, LAND AND DIGNITY

A movement from below, made up of those who have been at the forefront of listening and studying problems for years – as well as fighting to propose solutions – can help change. So I am committing myself, for the first time in my life, to a political movement that is standing for election.

The mission is arduous since we will have to collect 150.000 signatures and reach the threshold of 4% of the votes in Italy, without any funding. Nor do we expect to be followed by ‘mainstream media‘, because the values ​​we propose are antithetical to the interests of their big advertisers and the power groups that control them.

The revolution is in the hands of all of us and must be exercised, peacefully, in every possible forum. Even within institutions where too much is decided without regard to the rights of the people, their will and the common good. And it will continue, in any case, on these sites as in the squares.

#PeaceLandDignity, #Égalité

Dario Dongo

Programme Electoral program ‘Peace, Land and Dignity’. Our values

Footnotes

(1) Dario Dongo. Gas and electricity, an announced crisisGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 20.3.22

(2) The ‘shale gas’ is extracted by hydraulic fracturing of the clay at depths greater than those of the aquifers, causing pollution and the impossibility of use (in addition to seismic risks). The extraction yield is less than half that of methane. This gas is then liquefied, to be transported by ship across the Atlantic Ocean and other seas, and regasified near ports in the destination countries

(3) Marta Strinati. Rising prices and food crisis in times of war. Background in the iPES FOOD reportGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 10.5.22

(4) Marta Strinati, Dario Dongo. Greedflation, the super profits of corporations and supermarkets in the UK with the excuse of inflationGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 17.3.23

(5) Dario Dongo. Food sovereignty in Italy, the ABC. Reflections and proposals to the new ministerGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 28.10.22

(6) See paragraph 3 of the previous article by Dario Dongo. Sales below costs, farmers protest in FranceGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 21.1.24

(7) Dario Dongo. Seeds, the 4 masters of the worldGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 15.1.19

(8) Marta Strinati. CAP post-2022, the failure of the ecological transition in agricultureGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 24.11.21

(9) Donato Ferrucci, Dario Dongo. Nutrition of soils and crops, the integrated action plan in the EUGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 10.7.22

(10) Dario Dongo, Giulia Pietrollini. Circular economy in agri-food systems, an economic urgencyGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 4.5.23

(11) Dario Dongo. Animal welfare, open letter from civil society to the European CommissionGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 11.9.23

(12) Dario Dongo, Alessandra Mei. New GMOs, NGTs. Green light from Strasbourg to deregulationGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 9.2.24

(13) Dario Dongo, Gabriele Sapienza. Italy, land consumption and ecosystem services. ISPRA reportGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 8.11.23

(14) Dario Dongo. Soil protection, 2030 strategy. ABCGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 6.12.21

(15) Dario Dongo. Origin of raw materials on the label, the unsolved problemGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 5.3.24

(16) Dario Dongo. Allergens and RASFF, European blackoutGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 13.7.22

(17) The reciprocity clause on human and workers’ rights, as well as environmental protection, can follow the criteria introduced in the reg. (EU) 2023/1115. See Dario Dongo. Deforestation Regulation. Due diligence on critical raw materials beginsGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 29.7.23

(18) Elena Bosani. Guaranteed minimum wage, proposal for an EU directive for the social sustainability of work. Egalité. 18.3.21

(19) In the EU, 21 out of 27 Member States have a guaranteed minimum wage. The other six – including Italy and Cyprus, as well as Austria, Denmark, Finland and Sweden – determine wage levels on the basis of collective bargaining

(20) Sabrina Bergamini. Poverty in Europe, more than a fifth of the population at riskÉgalité. 20.9.22

(21) People at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2022. Eurostat. 14.6.23 https://tinyurl.com/4ezczxbr

(22) Dario Dongo, Sabrina Bergamini. Nursery and educational poverty in ItalyÉgalité. 20.9.19

(23) Dario Dongo. Italy, a population of elderly and disabled people. ISTAT Report 2022Égalité. 17.4.23

(24) Little data is collected by Eurostat in the ‘disability database’ https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/disability/database

(25) Dario Dongo, Sabrina Bergamini. Italy, mothers and caregivers without protectionÉgalité. 22.4.19

(26) Dario Dongo. If this is a state. Severe disabilities and family caregiversÉgalité. 31.12.19

(27) Stefano Baudino. Cuts to the care of disabled children: the other drama censored by the Sanremo Festival. The Independent. 19.2.24 https://tinyurl.com/52hd7ns6

(28) Valerio Valleri. Cuts to assistance for disabled people in schools, grassroots unions warn Capitol Hill. Rome Today. 11.1.24 https://tinyurl.com/2hjk4jbr

(29) Cuts to caregivers. The associations from the world of disability will demonstrate in the square. disabled.com. 17.3.24 https://tinyurl.com/3rneb47m

(30) Dario Dongo, Sabrina Bergamini. Disability, new European strategy 2021-2030Égalité. 12.3.21

(31) Dario Dongo, Sabrina Bergamini. Universal health coverage, UN declarationÉgalité. 22.1.20

(32) Dario Dongo. 4 million euros rained into the account of the European Commissioner for vaccinesÉgalité. 12.5.21

(33) Dario Dongo, Paolo Rebolini. Kitchenware and food contact materials, test conditions in EUGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 22.8.23

(34) Marta Strinati. Dangerous chemistry, the European Commission’s Restrictions RoadmapGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 3.5.22

(35) Dario Dongo. Protesting farmers, pesticides instead of #fairpriceGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 7.2.24

(36) Sabrina Bergamini, Dario Dongo. Microplastics on the plate, two new studies and a petitionGIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 13.6.19

+ posts

Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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