East European agriculture ministers with joint stance on CAP reform
Equal subsidies among Member States should ensure equal conditions for all producers in the EUEuropost
The agriculture ministers of Bulgaria, Poland, Czechia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania signed last Monday a joint position declaration about the reforms in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Warsaw, BTA reported. This happened during a ministerial conference about the future of the CAP in the face of new challenges.
The event was attended by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Janusz Wojciechowski and the agriculture ministers of the eight Eastern European Member States. The countries in question declared that the external convergence (equalising subsidies among Member States) of direct payments is of paramount importance to ensure equal conditions for all agriculture producers in the EU with regard to achieving the Union's climate-related goals. The declaration emphasises that equalising subsidies should not be done at the expense of the Member States that fall below the average level of direct payments.
According to the participants in the meeting, the implementation of the Green Deal will lead to a more sustainable application of chemicals in agriculture, stronger protection of soils, water and air, and to taking environmentally-friendly measures across the entire production cycle. These new standards will be more costly and will require investment in sustainable technologies and opening new job positions. The higher expenses should be taken into consideration when adopting the Multiannual Financial Framework.
The ministers agreed that the budget should preserve its 2014-2020 rates, which would be justified by the higher requirements dictated by the Green Deal. According to the officials at the meeting, the social and economic stability of agriculture should be achieved in parallel with the environmental sustainability of the sector. The reformed policy should preserve the goals and their positive effects on the various fields of agricultural production, such as the coupled support and the transitional national aid. The specifics of each country, including its structure and employment in agriculture, should be taken into account when making direct payments.