The Contrasting Local Perceptions of Europe: The 2009 milk strike in the French Basque country
Title: The Contrasting Local Perceptions of Europe: The 2009 milk strike in the French Basque country
Author: ITÇAINA, Xabier
Series/Report no.: Cahiers du Centre Emile Durkheim/Centre Emile Durkheim Working Papers; 2012/11
External link: http://www.durkheim.sciencespobordeaux.fr/Cahiers%20du%20CED_11/Cahiers%20du%20CED_11.pdf
The dairy sector is mostly concerned with market volatility and with the transformations of European regulations. In September, 2009, more than 60,000 European dairy farmers halted or reduced milk deliveries to protest falling prices and the European Commission’s plans to scrap production quotas. The strike was initiated by the European Milk Board (EMB), a new European association of milk producers’ associations and unions, promoting an alternative discourse on the European and national regulations of the dairy sector. In France, among the highest rates of strikers were to be found in the Basque Country. This paper argues that the 2009 milk strike testifies the emergence of a new kind of protest, being simultaneously transnational and local. In the Basque case, the milk strike sheds light on two dimensions. First, the strike informs on the local perception of the Common agricultural policy and of European integration. Second, the strike challenged the traditional equilibrium between the two local farmers’ unions (FDSEA and ELB-Confédération paysanne) by the birth of a new specialised association, the APLI (Association de producteurs de lait indépendants), related to the EMB. The protest gave birth to a public controversy where European and territorial issues appeared to be intrinsically interdependent.
Type of Access: openAccess