Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

La European Commission commits to farmers

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European farmers demand better incomes and protection against competition foreign.

Agence France-Presse

The European Commission pledged Thursday to “reduce the administrative burden” to respond to the anger of farmers, which seems to be easing in France after the announcement of a series of measures by the #x27;executive.

We will work on a proposal […] to reduce the administrative burden of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) procedures , declared the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, after a European summit.

This proposal will be ready in time for the next meeting of European agriculture ministers, scheduled for February 26 in Brussels, she promised.< /p>

We must defend the legitimate interests of farmers, particularly in our trade negotiations, by ensuring a level playing field when it comes to standards, Ms von der Leyen also said after a day marked by a tractor parade in Brussels.

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a European health and agricultural control force during a press conference following the summit.

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Mr. Macron, whose government announced new measures for farmers on Thursday, also congratulated himself on having ensured that the controversial trade agreement between the EU and Latin countries -American Mercosur, denounced by farmers, was not concluded hastily as some threatened to do.

It also announced that the EU would introduce controls on imports of Ukrainian cereals, competition for which is making farmers nervous. Mr. Macron considered that there was no inconsistency with European support for Kiev in the establishment of this cereal control.

The agricultural crisis emerged Thursday during this summit mainly devoted to European financial aid to Ukraine at war, which resulted in an agreement for aid of 50 billion euros (over CA$72 billion).

Thousands of demonstrators from several countries and some 1,200 tractors invaded the streets of the European capital to reflect the anger of the agricultural world throughout Europe. This is not the Europe we want, Let's get food out of free trade and Less standards, chanted the demonstrators in French, Dutch, Italian and German.

In all EU countries, Brussels is the designated target of agricultural anger. European policy too complex, incomes too low, inflation, foreign competition, accumulation of standards, soaring fuel prices: similar demands are found from Germany to Poland via Italy.

Hundreds of Portuguese farmers also blocked several roads on Thursday morning, including two crossings at the border with Spain, in order to demand a recovery of their activity.

In Greece, 300 tractors and dozens of beekeeper trucks, honking their horns and displaying black and white flags, stopped in front of the municipal center of Thessaloniki, Greece's second city, to cries of Farmers, they drink your blood !.

In France, the majority unions called on Thursday to suspend the country's blockades after a new series of announcements from Prime Minister Gabriel Attal in favor of the sector in crisis.

Mr. Attal has thus promised an envelope of 150 million euros (approximately CA$218 million) from this year and on a long-term basis dedicated to measures intended to relieve the tax and social burden of the country's breeders. In total, the measures announced since Monday in France in favor of the agricultural sector represent an envelope of 400 million euros (approximately CA$582 million), according to the Ministry of the Economy.

The head of the French government also announced on Thursday the pausing of a plan which sets objectives for reducing the use of pesticides and which crystallizes the anger of producers of large crops, provoking the consternation of the Ecologists party , which denounced an unacceptable and dramatic decline.

However, the main farmers' unions were satisfied. Arnaud Rousseau, the boss of the powerful FNSEA union, welcomed tangible progress and listening to the executive. He, with the president of the Young Farmers, Arnaud Gaillot, called for the suspension of the blockades in place since Monday on strategic routes, mainly around Paris.

Brussels had already made concessions at the start of the week by proposing to grant for 2024 a partial exemption from the fallow obligations imposed by the common agricultural policy (CAP).

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