Kaspars Gerhards: EU recovery measures must be implemented as soon as possible to be able to help farmers and businesses in Covid-19 crisis
On Monday September 28, Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture, will remotely participate in the meeting of Ministers for Agriculture of Baltic and Visegrad Group of States as well as Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia on the EU Common Agricultural Policy reform issues. Janusz Wojciechowski, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development will also participate in the meeting.
The EU Member States, participating in the meeting, want to achieve that the European Commission’s regulation lays down requirements to achieve the ambitions objectives of the environment and climate for each Member State in accordance with the allocated CAP funding. CAP funding and direct payments will be different for each Member State also in the programming period 2021-2027. The above-mentioned States hold an opinion that the higher is the level of direct payments – the higher requirements can be imposed on a farmer.
The major level of CAP ambitions has already been clearly outlined – 40% of the total CAP funding must be contributed to achieve the objectives of environment and climate. Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture: “Solutions, offered by the European Commission, to achieve the environment and climate objectives are not acceptable for us – they can impose on Latvian farmers an unproportionally heavy burden of the environment and climate requirements against the total funding we are receiving. There is risk that a considerable funding will be put aside for such environment and climate measures, which our farmers will not be able to implement due to high costs or because it will not be possible to quickly change operation processes of farms. In the result, the funding will not be used – it is neither acceptable nor sustainable. Well-weighed decisions must be made, facilitating quality of the environment, at the same time, avoiding placing unbearable burden on farmers whose work result in qualitative and accessible domestic food for people.”
The Ministers for Agriculture of Baltic and Visegrad Group* of States as well as Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia will also discuss the plan for the EU Recovery Measures and its implementation with a view to a more rapid recovery of the EU Member States after the crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic that was a hard blow to national economies.
Kaspars Gerhards: “Recovery measures must be implemented as soon as possible to enable us to provide an operative help to farmers and businesses in Covid-19 crisis. The European Union nationals must be recurrently reminded: in Covid-19 circumstances farmers and food producers must be supported as much as possible. Currently, when the Europe and World has partly stopped, farmers and food producers are those who provide people with a qualitative and wholesome food to put on the table daily. To ensure that supporting recovery instrument is available as soon as possible for the sector and is not lost, its approval and implementation must be simple by implementing only the measures already incorporated in the Rural Development Programs, based on eligibility conditions, which are currently in force.”
It is planned that the Ministers from Member States, participating in the meeting will sign a joint declaration on proportionality of the ambitious environment and climate measures, laid down by the European Commission, to the EU funding in agriculture.
(*) Visegrad Group of States: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia.
Information prepared by:
Dagnija Muceniece, Head of the Press and Public Relations Division
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