COPA - European Farmers is the united voice of farmers and their cooperatives in the European Union.
The Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community signed on 25 March 1957 already contained the most important framework provisions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The relationship between the Community authorities and the representatives of the agricultural sector was left open by the Treaty, but the Commission expressed its desire for close cooperation at an early stage and invited representatives of agricultural organisations to attend the 1958 Stresa Conference as observers.
Farmers themselves were convinced of the importance of the Community for their sector, and on 6 September 1958, the first European representative organisation, COPA, was created.
One year later, on 24 September 1959, the agricultural cooperatives of the European Community created their European umbrella organisation, COGECA (General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives). COPA’s Secretariat was established in Brussels on 1 April 1959, merging with that of COGECA on 1 December 1962.
When COPA (Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations) first started out it had 13 member organisations from the then six Member States. Today COPA is made up of 60 organisations from the countries of the European Union and 36 partner organisations from other European countries such as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
This broad membership allows COPA to represent both the general and specific interests of farmers in the European Union. Since its inception, COPA has been recognised by the Community authorities as the organisation speaking on behalf of the European agricultural sector as a whole.
- COPA European Farmers in action
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