Note on Request for Removal of Agriculture Department General Manager

The recent motion presented by some regional deputies of the ARS, calling for the removal of the general manager of the Department of Agriculture, Dario Cartabellotta, with reference to the provision on green harvesting (Call for admission to PNS Wine funding, Measure ” Green Harvest”, 2023/2024 campaign, drawn up pursuant to art. 47 of EU Regulation no. 1308/2013, as amended by Regulation (EU) no. 2021/2115 unfortunately not only inappropriate timing (remember that we vote tomorrow and the day after), therefore close to the electoral moment, but also the absolute lack of knowledge of the rules of EU politics.
For the record, the regional administration, of which Dr. Dario Cartabellotta is the director, has implemented a provision that arises from the need to avoid the risk of double financing between the green harvest and other support instruments, in the case of coexistence of a Green Harvest application with an aid application foreseen by the Sicily PSR 2014/2022 Operation 10.1B “payments for agro-climate-environmental commitments” or PSP 2023/2027 SRA29.
In summary, the Community Regulation provides that the amount of aid that can be financed for the PSR/PSP application may be reduced or excluded, in consideration of MASAF’s response to clarification of Article 5 of Ministerial Decree 185108 of 30 March 2023 following the protocol note. 78243 of 04/09/2024 signed by the General Manager and the Councilor.
In this sense, the provision hesitated by Dr. Dario Cartabellotta, even if with the limited time available, not only implemented the indications of MASAF, but avoided, at the same time, a series of appeals and disputes that would have caused a economic burden for the Regional Administration due to a clear infringement of EU regulations. We remind you, in this regard, that infringement procedures are those measures that are initiated against Member States that do not adapt their legal system to European law (in this case to the provisions of the CAP).
All this highlights, meanwhile, the lack of knowledge of European law and its specific rules on the part of these regional deputies but raises, at the same time, a reasonable and well-founded doubt about their good faith given that the current deputies were elected on 09/25/2022 (XVIII ARS Legislature) and, to date, they have said nothing (we are not aware of any official document) regarding (among other disregarded rules) the failure of the Councilor on duty to sign the Regional Law Decree. 21/2021 relating to the “Provisions on agroecology, protection of biodiversity and Sicilian agricultural products and technological innovation in agriculture.”
Well, here too for the sake of clarity for the citizen (which should be one of the concerns, and prerogatives, of a regional deputy) from the moment they took office, none of these deputies asked for an account and reason from the Councilors who followed one another, and to the regional Government, of the failure to issue the Decree of the aforementioned law, causing the loss of the considerable advantage that Sicily had acquired, with this regulation, in the European field, in the ecological transition programs towards the two deadlines of 2030 and 2050 foreseen in the of Farm to Fork.
We would like to remind you, for the record, that the proposal of the aforementioned decree had already been favorably considered, since 2022, by the competent technical table of Service 1 – Agroecology and organic agriculture of the Department, with the approval of the General Director Dr. Dario Cartabellotta.
This issue unfortunately denotes, once again, a dangerous slippage on the part of a part of politics which, as they say, has missed a good opportunity to remain silent.
For this reason, the Sicilian Agroecology Coordination (which is a technical-scientific body) distances itself from this inappropriate, misleading and opportunistic way of doing politics, striving to be at the service of that Truth which should always be the main objective of Politics.

Guido Bissanti.

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