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Farm Minister: EC Proposal to Cut Rural Development Funding ‘Unacceptable’

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.01.29.

The European Commission’s proposal to cut funding for Hungary’s rural development by more than 26 percent during the next EU budgetary period is “unacceptable”, the farm minister told the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels on Monday.

István Nagy told the body that in order to tackle tasks faced by Hungary’s farming sector and maintain the level of investment funding required to preserve its competitiveness, the current level of EU funding must be maintained in 2021-2027, the farm ministry said in a statement.

The meeting adopted a joint a statement signed by 17 EU member states calling for the maintenance of current funding levels.

The EC’s proposal for rules Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) rules would set stricter requirements for farmers which, Nagy said, cannot be met if subsidies for them are cut simultaneously.

At the meeting, EU farm ministers continued to debate the implementation of new CAP rules. Nagy said Hungary would only accept a deal that guarantees a simplified system ensuring the fastest and smoothest payment of subsidies to farmers.

A decision on the next EU budget, including CAP funding adjustments, is expected to be taken by the European Council this autumn.

featured photo illustration by Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI