Jānis Grasbergs: Heads of State should listen to their farmers before deciding on the new multiannual financial framework
On Monday, November 18, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Jānis Grasbergs participated in the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries of the European Union (EU) where he discussed the set of environmental and climate requirements for farmers in relation to the multiannual financial framework for the next programming period. The agreement on the future financial framework till the end of 2019 is very important as the progress of the Common agricultural Policy reform package depends on it.
In order to achieve the ambitious environmental and climate objectives within the framework of the future CAP, the capabilities of each individual Member State must be considered. Environmental and climate measures should be proportionate to the CAP funding allocated to Member States in order not to undermine the viability and competitiveness of farmers in the single market. Measures should be effective, of high quality, easy to implement and Member States should be given the option to choose and adapt them to specific national and regional needs, allowing to achieve the objectives.
“By offering the essential requirements of the conditionality system, the European Commission has put too much importance on the mandatory nature of those requirements without taking into account that the reinforcement of the essential requirements creates an additional burden for both farmers and national administrations“, said Jānis Grasbergs. “The proposed set of conditions together with the reduction of funding for rural development limits Member states’ options in implementation of important voluntary eco-schemes and targeted agri-environmental schemes.”
Ministers of the EU Member States also exchanged views on the proposal for a regulation on CAP transitional rules published by the Commission at the end of October. In general Latvia supports the possibility of setting a transitional period for 2021 and using the funding of the new financial period in order to avoid a gap in the availability of funding. However, the proposal for the transitional regulation also provides for a reduction in direct payment funding in 2021 for all EU Member states, including Latvia. Latvia does not support this approach and continues to insist that convergence of direct payments should be ensured over the next seven-year financial period.
Latvia strongly opposes the proposal to reduce rural development funding by 15% for all Member States, starting at the year 2021. Latvia insists that rural development funding should not be reduced in the next financial period, incl. in 2021 for those Member States whose CAP funding is below 90% of the EU average and whose rural development funding for the current period has been reduced.
“For Member States with a CAP funding level below 90 per cent of the EU average and whose rural development funding has been reduced in the current financial period, further reduction of rural development funding is unacceptable! Before adopting the multiannual financial framework that includes also support for rural development and direct payments, leaders of EU Member States must listen to their country’s farmers, their taxpayers! Moreover, the conditions for the transitional period should apply to all measures covered by the Rural Development Program, including technical assistance, avoiding a break in access to aid“, Parliamentary Secretary Jānis Grasbergs is certain.
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Ministry of Agriculture
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