Paolo De Castro is Professor of Agricultural Economics and Policy at the University of Bologna. His academic career has been full of awards, both nationally and internationally. These include two honorary degrees and the Titulo de Gran Cruz de la Orden al Mérito Agrario y Pesquero Alimentario received from the King of Spain Juan Carlos I.
Professor Paolo De Castro is author of over 150 scientific publications: particularly mentioned are his scientific contributions on the issue of food security and the role of international trade in the development of modern society.
Paolo De Castro served for three times as Minister of Agriculture of his country, and was vice- president of the Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food Production of the Senate of the Italian Republic. Between 2000 and 2002 he was also special adviser to the president of the European Commission, Prof. Romano Prodi.
Paolo De Castro is a member of the European Parliament since July 2009. He chaired the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development from 2009 to 2014, leading the European Parliament’s negotiating team during the whole reform process of the Common Agricultural Policy for the 2014/2020 period. During his second mandate as Member of the European Parliament, Paolo De Castro was first Vice-Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. Re-elected in July 2019, he is now Coordinator of the Socialist Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, of the Committee on International Trade and Member of the Committee on Budgets. His commitment to the issues of food security and agricultural development is shown not only through the many contributions made in the legislative work of the European Union, but also by the recent initiative that he inspired and coordinates: the Parliamentary Alliance “Fight against Hunger”, established in collaboration with FAO and with other parliaments in the world, which engages a group of Members of the European Parliament to develop proposals and actions to raise awareness and sharing on the theme of food security.
The combination of scientific, managerial and political experiences, coupled with a deep knowledge of the international relations, has allowed Prof. Paolo De Castro to gain a detailed understanding of the functioning of food systems and on the issues of agricultural development. His competence is internationally recognized and attested by the many contributions made, both as a speaker and as an author, within the highest international institutions dealing with food and agriculture.