Collective action for access to farmland:
What opportunities does the EU Common Agricultural Policy and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants bring for farmers and land managers in Eastern Europe.

Regional Policy Roundtable and Training of Trainers

On 29-30 November 2019, 23 participants joined in a regional policy roundtable in Cluj-Napoca, Romania organised by Eco Ruralis. The stakeholders were diverse, from farmers groups, land conservation and access to land organisations, academia, national decisionmakers and civil society representatives. The covered countries were equally diverse: Romania, Hungary, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Croatia, United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands. To break the ice in an innovative way, participants began the event with an intensive gaming session around the theme of access to land for sustainable farming. During a dedicated LEGO Serious Play session, participants gradually set a playful interface between farmers and policy makers, debating their vision over land management, access to land and the multiple (economic, social and environmental) role of land in farming. The gaming session was facilitated by Tomasz Wlosczowski the Polish BOND partner, SIE, and gaming champion

The main tools considered for this roundtable were the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants, the UN Decade of Family Farming, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure and the ongoing reform of the European Common Agriculture Policy. All of the outlined policy frameworks have a strong pillar or articulation on access to land, also having the potential to innovate current land policies both in EU and non-EU contexts.

Different perspectives of the access to land debate were highlighted by the participants:

Veronique Rioufol from the French organisation Terre de Liens presented the activities of the European Access to Land Network, Sylvia Kay from the Dutch organisation, Transnational Institute, showcased the work of the Hands on the Land Alliance regarding uncovering land grabbing and European inequalities regarding access to land. Several participants presented their land management practices and national political frameworks (ex. Romania, Rep. Moldova, Croatia). Attila Szocs, from Eco Ruralis presented policy issues resulting from the BOND National Workshop held in Bucharest which was also organised by Eco Ruralis.

The roundtable participants have successfully developed common policy proposals on a more fair and inclusive land management in EU and non-EU countries. They also recognised the value and utility of the above mentioned highly relevant international policy tools and their implementation in different national contexts.