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De Castro to step down as MEP

Ag committee vice-chair was instrumental in getting approval for new unfair trading practice rules

Paolo De Castro, the Italian MEP and vice-chair of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee, has decided not to run in May’s European Parliament elections.

“It is time to take a step back and return to the desks of the University of Bologna to embrace colleagues and students to whom I hope to transfer my extraordinary political experience,” De Castro said on twitter today (March 21).

Among his many achievements since becoming a member of the European Parliament in 2009, De Castro was instrumental in getting approval for the draft directive against unfair trading practices in the EU food supply chain. The new rules provide greater protection for smaller players against malpractices.

He also served as the Italian agriculture minister. 

IEG Policy recently interviewed Mr De Castro on a range of key agricultural issues including reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, geographical indications, gene editing and plant protection products. Part one of the interview is available to view here, and part two here.

EU umbrella farming union said in response to the announcement: “Very sad not to have Paolo De Castro in the next cycle of the European Parliament. We thank you for all the great work done for EU's agriculture and wish you all the best in the equally important job of teaching future generations of great professionals.”

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