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European Citizens’ Initiative Forum for the Right to Food 2024

Food insecurity is a massive problem within Europe, which was addressed at the first ECI Forum on the Right to Food, held in Geneva on 29-31 May. It brought together activists and organisations, to prepare for the future ECI on the Right to Food. Learn more about this ECI and join this new European movement for Right to Food.

Although food security and sovereignty are recognised in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to food is still not a legal and practical reality in Europe. On the contrary, a growing number of more than 33 million EU citizens suffer from insufficient food while more and more EU citizens become dependent on food banks. At the same time the EU’s food system produces more than 50 million tonnes of food waste every year.

To address this severe problem, the ECI Forum on Right to Food, held in Geneva from 29 to 31 May 2024, brought together activists from all over Europe to address the critical issues surrounding the right to food and food sovereignty in Europe. The event united stakeholders for a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) focused on drafting a comprehensive set of proposals on the right to food and sustainable food systems. The co-creation process of this ECI is still open for input. It builds on previous civil society achievements such as the 2023 Geneva Right to Food Manifesto and the 2023 referendum on nutrition that resulted in Geneva becoming the first Swiss canton to enshrine the right to food in its constitution. At the same time it builds on the collective work of renowned European food law experts who work for many years on a common food policy for the European Union.

The three-day long event organized by Mater Fondazione was attended by experienced organisations like Foodwatch, FIAN, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, La Via Campesina, Médecins Sans Frontières and others. At the same time this future ECI received support from leading experts such as Michael Fakhri, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, and Olivier De Schutter, co-chair of IPES-Food and UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

The discussion in May 2024 benefited from the experience of The ECI Campaign, represented by Carsten Berg, and the experience of successfully completed ECIs, including ECI “Right to Water”, ECI “End the Cage Age” and ECI “Save Bees and Farmers”.

After this first kick-off meeting, the future ECI Right to Food is looking for further partners and supporters in civil society, academia and philanthropy. Given the enormous challenge of collecting at least one million signatures in different EU Member States, it has become urgently clear that this ECI can only be run on the basis of a large and growing Europe-wide alliance of individuals and organisations.

Join this ECI in the decisive preparatory phase and get in touch with the organizers via: infoATmaterfondazione.com and advocacyATmaterfondazione.com

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