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“Psychological Moment” for Easing EU Agricultural Regulations Arrives

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.02.27.
Protesting farmers in Brussels

Hungary has put forward 45 proposals to the Belgian EU Presidency to reduce the administrative burden on farmers, which include strict regulations and controls, Zsolt Feldman, State Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development, announced in Brussels.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting of EU agriculture ministers, he pointed out that farmers’ demonstrations had to take place in 18 Member States in order for a meaningful discussion on reducing the administrative burden for European farmers to finally take place. He noted that at the Council meeting, hundreds of proposals were received from Member States on this issue.

The most important task for Hungary now is to get most of the proposals accepted by the European Commission this year, so that they can be implemented on time,”

he stressed.

Zsolt Feldman pointed out that high production costs in relation to income, Ukrainian imports that put farmers in a difficult situation, and problems of agricultural profitability at the European level with conditions that restrict production and bureaucratic justification of their fulfillment, have created a difficult situation in EU agriculture. These have led to an increase in protests and demonstrations across Europe, which have produced results: they have opened the way to negotiations on easing the burdens and administrative tasks affecting farmers.

This is the psychological moment when all European agriculture ministers are trying to actually achieve a relaxation of EU agricultural rules.

If we can ease the rules, we can ease the administrative burden, giving farmers the opportunity to concentrate on their prosperity in this difficult situation that we are now facing across Europe, and not on administration.”

Photo: Facebook/Dr. Feldman Zsolt

Commenting on the concerns of protesting farmers, including that they could be at a competitive disadvantage because of the influx of cheap agricultural products from outside the EU, Feldman said that while European farmers produce under strict rules, products imported from outside the EU are not subject to these rules.

“Farmers outside the EU can use pesticides that are no longer used in the EU, or they can use methods that are already banned in the EU, and this leads to an irrecoverable competitive disadvantage.

Brussels must stand up for farmers and recognize that the expectations it has of a European farmer should also apply to farmers outside the EU.

This is good for both agriculture and consumers, as they have access to safe food,” the politician pointed out.

Feldman met with participants in the Brussels farmers’ demonstration and with representatives of several European farmers’ organizations. As he said, European farmers are facing the same problem and that united European solutions to their concerns are needed. “Hungary is very active in the search for European solutions. We have already taken steps at home, but now it is the turn of Brussels, because European rules and trade agreements have to be dealt with at EU level,” the Agriculture Ministry’s state secretary underlined.

V4 Farmers' Organizations Protest Together against EU Agricultural Measures
V4 Farmers' Organizations Protest Together against EU Agricultural Measures

Around three thousand agricultural machines were deployed in the protests.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image: Facebook/Dr. Feldman Zsolt

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