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Protest in Brussels – new member states demand equal conditions

On December 13 the Chamber of Agriculture organized another international protest action in Brussels  to remind the politicians gathered at the European Council that they must keep the promise to equalize the support for farmers in all EU countries.

The first protest action organized by the Lithuanian Agricultural Chamber in Brussels was held on October 18 this year. Then equal conditions were demanded not only by Lithuanians but also by the Polish, Czech, Latvian farmers. The action was successful, the members of the European Parliament and the European Commission heard the farmers and accepted their written requirements. On December 13, when the European Council again gathered in Brussels and, among other issues, began to consider the EU budget in 2021-2027, a protest action took place, in which farmers from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania demanded fair conditions and sufficient budget.

On December 10 the representatives of Lithuanian farmers’ organizations met with the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė and discussed the goal of the farmers. Among other things, the President said that Lithuanian budgetary priorities are the allocation of the structural funds and the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, but the proposals for the agricultural sector are not less important.

“We are somewhat disappointed because the promised direct payments will not be reached by the end of this financial perspective, which means that the EU remains in debt to us.” said President D.Grybauskaitė .

Currently, the EU average for direct payments is 266 EUR / ha, and in Lithuania it was 166 EUR / ha this year. In 2027 average direct payments for Lithuanian farmers are planned to reach only 204 EUR / ha, or 79%. EU average. Such a forecast is not satisfactory. We seek that in 2027 the average payment for farmers in Lithuania would be equal to the EU average of 266 EUR / ha.

Protest in Brussels – December 13

On December 13, during the European Council meeting, farmers’ organisations from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia will hold a protest demonstration, demanding for an adequate funding for the Common Agricultural Policy budget and equal competition conditions across the EU.

The farmers demand:

  1. We demand that the direct payments the farmers of our countries will receive in 2021-2027 programming period are at least equal to the EU direct payment average;
  2. We demand that support for Pillar II (Rural Development Program) remains at least at the 2014-2020 level;
  3. We demand the establishment of a uniform ceiling for all the agricultural support Member States finance exclusively from state budget, as well as a uniform ceiling for co-financing from the state budget in the Rural Development Programs;
  4. We demand a radical simplification of support mechanisms and a reduction of administrative burden for both administrations and applicants/beneficiaries;
  5. We demand that specific financial and organizational mechanisms are created to encourage and facilitate the establishment of young farmers, as well as measures for new actors in the agricultural sector that no longer fall under the definition of ‘young farmer’.

“We live in a single, united Europe. We sell our produce in the single market. We need the support for the farmers to be sufficient and non-discriminatory“ – stress the farmers.

Protest in Brussels agaist unequal conditions

On October 18, during the European Council meeting, farmers’ organisations from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and the Czech Republic arranged a protest demonstration, demanding for an adequate funding for the Common Agricultural Policy budget and equal competition conditions across the EU.

The Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė and the Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development Czeslaw Adam Siekierski visited the protesters and supported their demands. Representatives of the farmers also met with Dermot Ryan – a member of the cabinet of Commissioner Hogan and presented their demands to him.

 

The demands are the following:

  1. We demand that the direct payments the farmers of our countries will receive in 2021-2027 programming period are at least equal to the EU direct payment average;
  2. We demand that support for Pillar II (Rural Development Program) remains at least at the 2014-2020 level;
  3. We demand the establishment of a uniform ceiling for all the agricultural support Member States finance exclusively from state budget, as well as a uniform ceiling for co-financing from the state budget in the Rural Development Programs;
  4. We demand a radical simplification of support mechanisms and a reduction of administrative burden for both administrations and applicants/beneficiaries;
  5. We demand that specific financial and organizational mechanisms are created to encourage and facilitate the establishment of young farmers, as well as measures for new actors in the agricultural sector that no longer fall under the definition of ‘young farmer’.

 “We live in a single, united Europe. We sell our produce in the single market. We need the support for the farmers to be sufficient and non-discriminatory“ – stressed the protesting farmers.