The Ministers for Agriculture of the Baltic States and Poland agreed on joint protection of farmers’ interests in Brussels
On Tuesday, March 13, the Ministers for Agriculture of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, upon meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture in Riga, signed the joint declaration on the communication from the European Commission “The future of food and farming”, agreeing on the joint position in negotiations with the European Commission on the EU Common Agricultural Policy after 2020 by signing a special Declaration.
The Declaration was signed by Jānis Dūklavs, the Latvian Minister for Agriculture, Tarmo Tamm, the Estonian Minister for Rural Development, Bronius Markauskas, the Lithuanian Minister for Agriculture and Krzysztof Jurgiel, the Polish minister for Agriculture and Rural Development. The meeting of the Ministers for Agriculture of the Baltic States and Poland on the CAP future was held in Riga on the initiative of Jānis Dūklavs, the Minister for Agriculture.
“This is a historical moment as our four States agreed to voice our joint position in the EU Agricultural and Fisheries Council on the need to equalize the direct payments among Member States as the current differentiated level of support is distorting the market. We do not request more funding but equality,” pointed out the Minister Jānis Dūklavs.
“This joint opinion is not the opinion of only the Ministers of Agriculture of the Baltic States and Poland, it represents the position of Governments, Parliaments and farmers of all four States regarding the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. For us, the support from our Governments and farmers is very important when defending interests of the Baltic States and Poland in Brussels,” emphasized Krzysztof Jurgiel, the Polish minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.
In their undersigned Declaration, the Ministers for Agriculture of the Baltic States and Poland, call on the European Commission, requesting to observe equality and fairness in respect of all the Member States, urging to complete equalizing the direct payments. The Declaration outlines that support by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for rural development enables Member States to improve competitiveness and facilitates an effective and sustainable development of economy and rural areas. Therefore, it is important to tackle the problems such as the shrinking number of population, unemployment and poverty as well as to encourage social integration in rural areas. Conditions and criteria of the EU funding for rural development must ensure the support for such rural areas, which lag behind the EU average level.
The Ministers also pointed out that to further provide for the CAP activities, a sufficient funding must also be ensured to support a sustainable agricultural development, production of safe, qualitative and diverse food as well as employment and growth opportunities in rural areas. The Declaration supports the COM intention to go on with simplification and modernization of CAP – it must be simple and understandable for farmers and other people, maximally reducing administrative expenses for farmers and the Government.
It has already been reported that late in 2017, COM published the communication “The future of food and farming” defining CAP priorities after 2020.
Information prepared: Dagnija Muceniece
Head of the Press and Public Relations Division