Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture: requirements for farmers and the attainable results must be adequate to availability of funding
On December 16, Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture, will participate in the Council meeting of EU Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries (CMAF) in Brussels where the Minsters from Member States will discuss tasks accomplished during the Finland’s Presidency of the Council and the future of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020.
Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister: “It is important to make reasonable decisions regarding obligations farmers will have to comply with to achieve the environmental and climate objectives. Firstly, all the conditions must be considered, which farmers have been implementing already now to this effect. Direct payment support must also be included in the common investment in the environment. Secondly, we must listen to the opinion of our farmers. Whether they actually are capable of complying with the burden of these conditions. Thirdly, the proposal from the European Commission that from 2021, 40 percent of the Common Agriculture Policy funding should be allocated to implementation of the climate and environmental requirements, is the maximum obligation we can impose on farmers for them still to be able to achieve other CAP objectives. At present, Latvia cannot support the proposal from the Presidency to task farmers with more obligations than currently is required by the Proposal from the European Commission.”
Latvia does not support a considerable reduction of CAP budget that will result in a considerable reduction in funding for rural development, as proposed by the European Commission, because the new CAP is setting up ambitious objectives, which require an adequate funding. Just as the Ministry of Agriculture considers that the available CAP strategic plan does not provide for simplification of CAP and do not lessen administrative burden for Member States.
“It must be emphasized that the requirements and attainable results must commensurate to availability of funding. It is clear that theoretically the objectives must be attainable in reality otherwise, farmers will not be able to achieve them and Member States will again return to recurrent reforming of the Common Agricultural Policy. The situation must be avoided when, wishing to live and work in a more environmentally friendly way, we shift the responsibility for achievement of the environmental and climate objectives on our farmers as an unbearable burden,” said the Minister.
At the CMAF meeting, the Ministers will also make a decision on admissible catch quotas outside EU waters, for EU, including Latvian, fishermen. Outside EU waters, Latvian fishing fleet is fishing mainly redfish in North Atlantics and from this year, northern shrimp is again available.
Information prepared by: Dagnija Muceniece,
Head of the Press and Public Relations Division
telephone: 67027070; mob.: 26534104