Martikainen elected new chair of Natural Resources Commission

The Natural Resources Commission (NAT) remit includes the common agricultural policy, fisheries policy, food policy and consumer affairs, health policy and tourism.

Martikainen comes from Lapinlahti, Finland, and has been a member of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) since 2004. He has recently authored the report on reducing food waste and EU food aid for the most deprived. He is also the CoR’s representative in the European Commission’s platform on reducing and preventing food waste in Europe. Earlier he also authored a report on “Batteries and accumulators and spent batteries and accumulators“.

“I see the NAT commission in a very important role: our policy remits are actually those where the European Union is immediately visible for citizens: our policies are direct, they matter to people and they matter to cities and regions. This is what I would like to emphasis today and in future. We are here to make the EU a better place and we know very well what we want when we talk about civil protection, about health, about consumer rights, about rural development and so forth. This is our daily routine, and the EU is part of our daily routine.

During my time as rapporteur, I discussed food policy on several occasions with commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis. Our opinion has helped push this important item up the EU agenda. The European Commission has recognised that the activities of local authorities can significantly reduce food waste.

Martikainen’s term-of-office will last two and a half years, during which time the NAT commission will be closely involved in the discussions on the reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

“It is important to ensure that agricultural production can continue to be carried out profitably across all regions of the EU, since there can be no vibrant rural environment without agriculture. The CAP is the only policy where decisions are taken entirely at EU level. The CoR has asked for the CAP budget to remain sufficiently high and has emphasised the need to support young farmers and family farms in particular,”

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