The Ministry of Agriculture: EU Member States must be able to decide themselves on the development of their agriculture rather than the European Commission centrally
On March 22 and 23, a meeting of the EU Council of Minsters for Agriculture and Fisheries (CMAF) was held, where Member States carried out intense discussions on topical legislative conditions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to be in force from 2023 to 2027 but unfortunately no agreement has been accomplished on these issues with the European Parliament (EP). Because of protracted discussions, CAP transitional conditions will be in force from 2021 to 2023.
At the CMAF meeting of October 19 and 20, 2020, a joint position of the Council was reached on the further CAP operations, which authorizes the Council to continue negotiations with the EP to finally come to an agreement on the future CAP. Until now, a very intense work has been carried out with the EP however, negotiations are very complicated because institutions have different or even opposite positions on several essential CAP issues. The EP has also brought up some new proposals, which an agreement with Member States must be achieved on by the Council.
Negotiations between the EP and the Council will continue therefore, at the CMAF meeting Latvia pointed out the solutions to be reached for Latvia be able to support the agreement. It is important for the development of Latvian agriculture that the talks with the EP result in an outcome that of already low direct payments, Latvia is receiving now, no more than 20% would be spent for climate and environment measures. This is a maximum possible amount to ensure an equilibrium among all the CAP objectives and needs. Just as it is important for Latvia that in respect of finances of direct payments Latvia could make decisions as freely as possible in accordance with specific circumstances of the country. Also, in respect of other restricting conditions, Latvia is asking to follow subsidiarity principles and rights of Member States to implement the needs, corresponding with local situation. Therefore, Latvia submitted a proposal how to make requirements of the system of conditions more effective and rational. Latvia also has a strong opinion that the proposals, which make the policy implementation and administration model more complicated and imposes an administrative burden must be rejected.
At the meeting, Latvia pointed out that Member States already now are developing their national Strategic plans that will be basis for implementation of support measures for agriculture and rural areas in the coming 5 years. Therefore, Latvia asked the parties involved in trialogues to make the decision as soon as possible and to respect Member States and farmers, and to find a reasonable route toward a good, well-weighed and strategic CAP.
Whereas, to achieve the Green Deal objectives, CAP strategic plans, in Latvia’s opinion, must be developed based on priority needs of each Member State and analysis of a local situation. It is particularly important to insist on the decisive role of Member States regarding their Strategic plans because the European Commission (COM) has unilaterally come out with additional recommendations for each Member State. Amongst others, COM is putting emphasis on including in the Strategic plan of specific objectives for implementation of Green Deal. But Latvia together with other Member States insists that agricultural and rural development objectives of Member States must not be based on recommendations but on priorities and thorough analysis of the needs of the national sector of agriculture that is primarily done by Member States themselves. Recommendations by COM may outline solutions for implementation of Green Deal objectives, desirable for Member States but according to the EU legislation, COM recommendations are suggestions in nature – they are not legally binding. As COM will have to approve Latvian Strategic Plan, Latvia just as other EU Member States, insists that COM ensure a transparency of approval of the plans and allows a maximally effective achievement of objectives set up for agricultural development in Latvia.
Informāciju sagatavoja: Dagnija Muceniece,
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