Free trade or slave trade? How the EU's free trade agreements in Colombia and Peru reward human rights abuses, destroy livelihoods, promote land grabbing and strip governments of their sovereignty to regulate capital flows.
One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
While the overall amount of agricultural land in Europe is shrinking, it is also becoming increasingly concentrated in a few large landholdings and in the hands of relatively few big private business entities.
At the heart of the growing inequalities in Europe are the issues of land concentration and land grabbing. It is a critical subject and is having severe impacts on the prospects and viability of our communities.
European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), Hands-Off The Land (HOTL) Alliance
24 June 2013
Land issues and 'land grabs' are mostly associated with the global South, however 13 country studies in this updated landmark report reveal an accelerating grab and concentration of land across Europe.
This paper attempts to specify the key criteria of a ‘pro-poor land policy’ and ‘truly democratic land governance’ concerning state/public lands, using the lessons from activist databases, including that of the international human rights organization Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN).
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
The German government's involvement in land policy is reflected through its support for technical land administration and management in more than 20 countries, while the engagement in redistributive land policies like land reform is almost non-existent.
In Europe, land speculation and land concentration are an increasing threat to small and medium sized family farms and new entrants. Soaring land prices make it increasingly difficult for farmers to have access to land. In the meantime, investors are buying up enormous pieces of land, sometimes using legal loopholes. Land is increasingly becoming a globally tradable commodity and an object of financial speculation. Examples such as Scotland and Andalusia, where arable land, pastures and forests are highly concentrated since centuries, show the negative effects for sustainable rural development and societies as a whole.