Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture: If the European Commission is establishing additional requirements for farmers then an adequate funding must be provided

On May 26, 2020, Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture, by means of the video conference, conducted a meeting with Julia Klöckner, the German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, discussing a negative impact of Covid-19 on the sector of agriculture and food industry as well as possibilities to lessen the consequences by preparing and implementing the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the next programming period 2020-2027 relevant to the current situation. In the next half of year, Germany will hold the Presidency of the EU Council and one of its tasks will be to carry the EU CAP 2020-2027 through to the final decision.

Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture, emphasized: “A strong Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union implies a totality of conditions under which every Member State receives fair and equal direct payments to support their farmers. Besides, the European market conditions must also be equal, enabling every Member State to be a strong participant. Assessing both the current circumstances of Covid-19 crisis and taking into account the previous years – a lasting unequal distribution of direct payments for Latvia, we cannot agree to the reduction. Establishing of additional requirements and reduction in support will create an unbearable burden for farmers and make the existing gap among Member States even wider, reducing competitiveness and even viability.”

Both the Ministers agreed that it is very important to ensure a sufficient and adequate funding for CAP in the next EU multiannual budget. In what way and how quickly Member States will be able to assume the commitments of the EU Green Deal and implement the principles “Farm to Fork”, and objectives laid down in the strategy of biodiversity. The Ministers were also unanimous in their opinion that farmers cannot be blamed for creating problems with climate and environment and the more so, to fine them for it would be inadmissible. If the European Commission establishes additional objectives to reach the environmental and climate objectives then COM must envisage additional and adequate funding. Meeting of additional requirements needs adequate funding to avoid imposing of unbearable burden on farmers.

The more so, Latvia considers that implementation of the stringent environmental and climate requirements must be postponed until EU agriculture has recovered from economic crisis caused by Covid-19. Germany also considers that the CAP budget for 2020-2027 must be maintained at its present level. Taking account of Covid-19 crisis, Germany’s opinion is that the CAP reform will start functioning only after 2023 therefore there must be a two-year transition period to ensure the continuity of direct payments and programs of other funds.

While talking with the German Minister, Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister, emphasized the issue of equalization of direct payments to ensure equal competition conditions for all the EU Member States.  Julia Klöckner , the German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, said that she understands the importance of this issue for Latvia but the equalization of direct payments mut be dealt with in the context of the total funding, which would be allocated to CAP for the next EU multiannual budget.

Information prepared by: Dagnija Muceniece,
Head of the Press and Public Relations Division
telephone: 67027070; mob.: 26534104
email: Dagnija.Muceniece@zm.gov.lv


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