The 11th Conference is part of “collateral” events included in the Agenda of the EU Semester of the Italian Presidency.

2014 is an important year for our profession. Agronomists are key figures for rural development, playing an important role of mediation in the transfer of knowledge as experts, links between research and application and innovation brokers in EIPs.

The community regulations for the implementation of the new CAP 2014-2020 recognise their fundamental advisory role for farms, as well as for the planning of structural interventions to improve and promote the development of rural areas. There is a need, therefore, to standardise and unify our professional activities so that agronomists can be a reference point in European institutions, as well as in each Member State, for the management of rural areas, landscapes and food security.

The new professional qualification directive calls for reflection by all members of CEDIA, and particular attention should be given to the European Professional Card (EPC). This is a simple electronic device designed to allow the recognition of professional qualifications within EU Member States in order to facilitate the free movement of professionals. It is essential that agronomists are included among the professions recognised by the authorities issuing the EPC in the individual Member States. An increasing number of our colleagues are required to work beyond their national borders, either for brief periods or to establish permanent bases there, even for partial activities. In view of the competences attributed to them by their professional association and national regulations, the EPC represents a powerful tool that would essentially allow them to practice throughout Europe, thereby enhancing their professional and cultural growth. Ease of mobility would also allow best practices to be exported beyond national borders, with benefits not only for the professional but also for the host country. This is completely in line with an effective unification of the EU States, which starts from the freedom to practice a profession, which is varied yet essential for the social and economic development of each country.

At the conclusion of the 11th Conference, the topics discussed and the results obtained will be summarised in a final document (the European Agronomists’ Charter), which will be brought to the attention of the major stakeholders

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