The European Green Deal: how to make the economy sustainable and what are the risks for workers?

"The European Green Deal: how to make the economy sustainable and what are the risks for workers?" is the title of the seminar organised by Feder.Agri, which took place from October 29 to 31 in Italy with the financial support of the European Union in Paestum/Italy. The 77 participants came from France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Cyprus, Portugal, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Italy.

Alfonso Luzzi, Secretary General of FEDER.AGRI., outlined the seminar topic in his opening speech. The Mayor of Paestum, Franco Alfieri, explained the initiatives planned by the Municipality, committed to the protection of the environment and the promotion of this archaeological site. There were further greetings, for example from the Secretary General of EZA, Sigrid Schraml, who emphasised the importance of the topic for the future of the EU and FEDER.AGRI. Thank you for conducting the seminar.

Maria Rosaria Pilla, Provincial President of the MCL, pointed out the great attention that young people pay to the consequences of climate change. The General President of the MCL, Antonio Di Matteo, highlighted the commitment of his organisation in the field of agriculture. Of particular interest is the phenomenon of "caporalato", the recruitment of illegal workers in agriculture, which affects regions such as Campania. H.E. Mons. Andrea Bellardi underlined that the issue of environmental resources cannot be isolated from economic resources and human capital. Absolute visions did not lead any further.

In his introduction to the content, Alfonso Luzzi explained that FEDER.AGRI. decided to make the Green Deal the subject of this seminar because we are convinced that climate neutrality, energy efficiency, emission control and the common agricultural policy are the challenges of our time.

Matteo Massara, President of Masma Bio in Catania, introduced the seminar participants to his company, which addresses farms with sustainable innovations in the agricultural sector. The concern is the combination of innovation and tradition through the rediscovery of products and the reuse of food surpluses and waste.

The work of women in rural areas was the focus of the presentation by Carmen Quintanilla, President of Afammer. It was learned from her that in Spain and especially in Barcelona, ​​increased women have been working in the bakery trade for a number of years.

The focus of the second session of the first day of the seminar was on quality-oriented production of agricultural and animal products, vocational training and automation in agriculture and animal husbandry.

Vito Busillo, Provincial President of the Cordiretti in Salerno, spoke from a farmer's perspective on the issue of climate neutrality as part of the Green Deal and on the impact of climate change.

Afterwards, Nicola de Leonardis, Regional Coordinator for the Agriculture sector of the Confcooperative Campania, reported that the establishment of a cattle farm to produce fresh meat with a protected geographical indication such as the so-called "Vitellone Bianco" in an area that lives only from farms, proved to be a development engine in this area.

This type of entrepreneurship, which has rural origins and grows from family farms, was also the subject of Vittorio Gervasi, an agricultural engineer from Bari. The future is green and brings people prosperity if you keep an eye on the risks for workers.

A cultural change towards a green conscience, which each of us must have, is a prerequisite for climate neutrality, emphasized Paolo Cesana, director of the Fondazione Luigi Clerici in Milan. This aspect must be an integral part of training aimed at young people in agriculture.

At the beginning of the second day of the seminar, Piergiorgio Sciacqua, Co-President of EZA, outlined the challenges that the transition to a climate-neutral economy entails, especially from the point of view of employee organisations.

In his analysis, Joseph Thouvenel, Vice-President of the French trade union federation CFTC, dealt with the role of workers in the implementation of the European strategy for inclusive development.

Diomides Diomidous, former President General of DEOK Cyprus, presented the Green Deal as a challenge for the Mediterranean region as well also use natural resources.

As is well known, last year was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which not only had a significant impact on health, but also on environmental issues, said Veselin Mitov from Bulgaria in his contribution.

The second part of the day ended with three contributions from Italy. The protection of biodiversity and the transformation of the environment in the face of human presence were the focus of the presentation by Danilo Pirola from Bergamo, who advocated improving systems for the reuse of goods.

Roberto Costanzo, representative of Coldiretti and former Member of Parliament, then spoke about the link between agriculture and cooperation.

The regional Minister of Agriculture of Campania, Nicola Caputo, addressed remotely the problem of water and the increasingly difficult situation due to the drought and addressed the great debate about the national recovery and resilience plan PNRR as a development tool.


The last session, which took the form of a round table, dealt with the topic: “Human capital as a dominant factor in the transformation process: upskilling workers for new green jobs and new education and training opportunities for new skills.” Leonardo De Marco, Secretary General of the FEDER.AGRI. and moderator of the Round Table, began by underlining that there can be no innovation without focusing on the value of human capital: talent and skills are the foundations on which progress is built. In second place comes the ever-expanding technology - such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity - which has fundamentally changed the way we live and do business.

Vanja Gavran, Member of the Council for Electronic Media in Croatia, outlined the current agricultural situation and the state of sustainable development in Croatia, a country rich in water and arable land, thus offering favourable conditions for agriculture.

Maria Reina Martin, Vice President of EZA, emphasised that Portugal is a purely agricultural economy and pays great attention to its territory, on which and from which the country lives. There can be no sustainable society without a green culture and therefore the development of human capital must be promoted.

As Aneta Szczykutowicz explained, Poland is currently in the process of developing from the black lungs of Europe into a country that has initiated a green transformation with massive investments in wind energy and solar systems everywhere and even on church roofs.

Jovita Pretzsch explained the progress made in modernising electrical energy in Lithuania. There is a plan there that relies on investments and reforms to accelerate the digital and green transformation. This included investing in clean energy and high-speed internet to make the Lithuanian economy more sustainable, dynamic, and innovative.

The challenges posed by climate change require a global response and the EU, together with its partner countries, is making intensive efforts to support the management of the climatic energy transformation worldwide. This seminar in Paestum was an opportunity to discuss the role of the European Social Dialogue within the Green Deal, because transforming the European Union into a modern economy means sharing the benefits with everyone, so quickly and so fairly as possible. At the same time, we are strengthening our competitiveness and creating jobs that are for the future, efficiently addressing the costs and impact of the transition.

The Green Deal, together with the social dialogue, is the path to be followed to manage this profound change