Press information

On Wednesday February 21, in Vilnius (Lithuania), there were a meeting of Ministers for Agriculture of the Baltic and Nordic States, where implementation of the Strategic Plan for 2023 – 2027 of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP SP) was discussed, which already at the initial stage has created a lot of problems as well as challenges, related to implementation of climate chage measures in the countries of Northern region.

Ministers agreed that this is a very complicated period for farmers – a considerable increase in expenditures in agriculture and at the same time reduced income. After the first year of implementation of CAP SP, it is clear that CAP SP is too complicated, detailed and inflexible. The Minister for Agriculture, Armands Krauze: “Strategic plans must be simple and easily applicable in changeable circumstances, which we are experiencing now. The simpler and more understandable Strategic Plans are the less will be the need to change them according to existing circumstances. Besides, changing process of Strategic Plans currently is also very complicated and lengthy – it must be simplified and the changing process must be shortened. Also Lavian Strategic Plan in its current wording is too complicated, makes farmers’ work more difficult and unnecessary bureaucracy hinders access to the aid. That is not how it will stay, we will change this plan.”

The Ministers also agreed that implementation of the EU Green Deal objectives cannot be placed solely on shoulders of agriculture and forestry. If such ambitious climate and environmental objectives have been set up then an adequate funding must be earmarked and not to attempt to implement Green Deal objectives by means of the funding allocated to CAP. Therefore, the European Commission further should cooperate with Member State more acvely to avoid damaging agricultural competitiveness and development possibilities in circumstances when Europe is facing outbreak of war, initiated by Russia, and providing inhabitants with food is a strategically significant issue.

Armands Krauze informed his coleagues on law amendmends, which are being currenly examined, introducing ban on imports to Latvia of agricultural and forage products from Russia and Belorus as well as he repeatedly asked to support the ban on imports to the EU of agricultural goods and forage from Russia,

Ministers also discussed an issue on requirements for conservation and restoration of perennial grasslands, which initially has already been one of the biggest Latvia’s CAP SP  problems. Farms with a considerable share of perennial grasslands have not an option to change the production sector, for these farms its is more difficult to work, their competitiveness and market participation is limited. The Ministry of Agriculture has addressed the EC with this problem more than once. A possibility has been discussed to consider farmers’ interests, not to apply requirements to grasslands and land use outside agricultural production. 

Sustainable use of plant protection products in future and impact of the EU Green Deal on agriculture in the European northern region have also been discussed at the meeting. Latvia, of course, supports the EU efforts and objectives to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 however, it is clear already now that it will not be possible to achieve the objectives of 2030, taking into consideration the necessary considerable financial resources and preparation work.

In addition, the Finnish Minister, Sari Essayah suggested solving the issue with predatory mammals, particularly wolves, which attack herds of agricultural animals and cause damages to farmers. In Finlad, there are concerns of risks that wolves might also attac humans particularly children in rural areas. Ministers agreed that this issue must be solved threfore it will be raised in the EC.

At the meeting participated the Minister for Agriculture, Armands Krauze, Lithuanian Minister for Agriculture, Kęstutis Navickas, from Estonian Ministry for Rural Affairs, the State Secretary, Marko Gorban, Finnish Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Sari Essayah, Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs, Peter Kullgren and Danish deputy Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fishery, Nis Christensen.

Dagnija Muceniece

Head of Division
Dagnija.Muceniece [at]