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 19 feb 2020 15:50 

Proposed EU budget unacceptable

Copa and Cogeca took note of and analysed the proposal on the future multiannual financial framework (MFF) tabled by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, last Friday. It proposes a financing that is below the current level for the future CAP. As representatives of 22 million farmers and their families and 22 000 agri-cooperatives, we consider the proposal to be totally unacceptable.

The proposal does not provide sufficient support to farmers to address the challenges they are facing and will continue to face in the future and will certainly not help them contribute to the objectives outlined in the European Green Deal. In particular, we see that the rural development lacks an adequate level of support, which is absolutely needed to help prevent the worrying problem of rural exodus and to encourage farmers to continue investing in more sustainable practices and production methods. The additional reduction in the EU co-financing rates for Pillar II will put an unsustainable pressure on Member States to improve their actions under the rural development programming. Furthermore, this will put at stake generational renewal in the sector, which is key to its balanced, sustainable and long-term development.

Farmers across the EU have taken to the streets to raise awareness about the difficulties in the sector, calling for further support to manage difficult market situations, unfair prices and the rise of agri-bashing. Farmers’ share of the consumer euro is still at a very low level and we need a better functioning food supply chain that helps to improve farmers’ income. We cannot, in such a situation, accept further cuts.

Member States cannot disregard the current hardships of the farming communities and rural exodus across the EU. They need to commit sufficient resources to deliver on the priorities of the Union. We have said this many times: we are at a critical moment for the survival of EU’s family farming model. A reduced budget will be perceived as a clear message from the EU to our farmers. A message that it doesn’t care enough about agriculture, our rural areas and about those who produce the food we eat.” underlined Pekka Pesonen, Copa and Cogeca Secretary General.

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