Event The EU’s War on Farming: Has Europe given up on her breadwinners? 

The EU’s War on Farming: Has Europe given up on her breadwinners? 

Date(s) - 27/11/2023
18:00 - 20:00

Press Club Brussels Europe


From the 1950s to the present day the percentage of household income spent on food decreased dramatically, but it is beginning to rise again.

In 2023, 53% of Europeans worried about food shortages, and 55 % think the war in Ukraine has made food production more vulnerable.

According to European Commission statistics, family farms accounted for 9 in every 10 of the EU’s 9.1 million farms in 2020. But, at the same time, 31% of farm managers are over 65, and only 11% are under 40 as farming does not offer good prospects for younger generations.

Why, at this critical juncture, is the EU waging war on family farmers and farming? Join us for this report launch to find out more and debate this pressing issue. 


“Never hungry again!” was the motto of European agricultural policy after the devastations of the Second World War. Plentiful, secure and affordable food was the goal of European agricultural policy. Although European farming has not been without issues, the policy has been broadly successful: not only could the EU feed itself, but it was able to support the needs of a growing population globally.  

Today, Europe’s leaders have abandoned these goals. Instead, farming is subordinated to the increasingly radical demands of environmentalists. Farmers must now cut emissions, conserve nature, protect water and wildlife, and much more. Hundreds of farmers across the continent have been bankrupted by these policies, and thousands more imperilled. It seems as if EU elites have forgotten who provides the food which they enjoy in Brussels’ restaurants.

But today, a radical pushback against these disastrous policies seems to be beginning. Farmers’ parties are gaining ground across Europe. Consumers protest the inflating cost of food. And the Ukraine war reminds us all of the importance of food security.

How have European elites become so detached from the reality of food and farming? Why are farmers singled out for such stringent environmental regulations? Can we find a balance between climate protection and feeding the population? Is a genuine pushback beginning, and should we champion it?

Join MCC Brussels for an open debate on the way forward for Europe’s farmers, featuring a presentation of our new report, the story of two of Europe’s many imperilled farmers, and more.


  • Daisy and Gunter Klaasen, poultry farmers, Turnhouts Vennengebied region
  • Richard Schenk, research fellow, MCC Brussels; author MCC Brussels’ report, ‘The EU’s War on Farming’
  • Fernand Keuleneer, practising specialist in environmental law; political commentator; attorney, Keuleneer advocaten-avocats

To register for this event, please click here.