JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

EU countries to demand bloc does more to help farmers, draft statement says

EU countries to demand bloc does more to help farmers, draft statement says

Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 18:21 GMT+7
EU countries to demand bloc does more to help farmers, draft statement says
Spanish farmers protest over price pressures, taxes and green regulation and grievances shared by farmers across Europe, at Paseo de la Castellana street in Madrid, Spain, February 26, 2024. Photo: Reuters

BRUSSELS -- European Union country leaders will urge the EU to work quickly on more measures to support farmers in response to months of protests by angry agriculture workers, draft conclusions for an EU leaders' summit showed.

The EU has already watered down some environmental policies in response to the sometimes violent protests, but with farmers still taking to the streets this week in Belgium and France, Brussels is under pressure to do more.

Draft conclusions for an EU summit on 21-22 March, seen by Reuters, showed EU country leaders plan to ask the European Commission to work without delay on "all possible short-term measures, including those to reduce the administrative burden and achieve simplification for farmers".

Tractors of the French farmers of the Coordination Rural (CR) are parked during a go-slow operation as they protest ahead of the opening of the Paris farm show, in Paris, France, February 23, 2024. Photo: Reuters

Tractors of the French farmers of the Coordination Rural (CR) are parked during a go-slow operation as they protest ahead of the opening of the Paris farm show, in Paris, France, February 23, 2024. Photo: Reuters

The EU should also take action to strengthen the position of farmers in the food supply chain, and ensure they can earn a fair income, the draft said.

Having already withdrawn a law to reduce pesticides and weakened some nature protection measures, the EU is looking at new proposals to ease pressures on European farmers, including a reduction in farm inspections and the possibility of exempting small farms from some environmental standards.

A driver smokes as he walks past his tractor parked in front of a government office in Prague, Czech Republic, March 7, 2024. Photo: Reuters

A driver smokes as he walks past his tractor parked in front of a government office in Prague, Czech Republic, March 7, 2024. Photo: Reuters

The crisis in the sector comes as Europe faces increasingly dire warnings from scientists about the environmental damage industrial farming is causing, and the urgent need to protect nature in the face of worsening climate change.

The EU Environment Agency this week said current EU food policies are failing to address climate change risks.

French farmers block the A20 highway with their tractors and hay bales to protest over price pressures, taxes and green regulation, near Montauban, south of France, January 24, 2024. Photo: Reuters

French farmers block the A20 highway with their tractors and hay bales to protest over price pressures, taxes and green regulation, near Montauban, south of France, January 24, 2024. Photo: Reuters

It suggested Europe consider policies to encourage less livestock farming, since shifting to plant-based proteins could help farmers reduce their reliance on imported animal feed and use less water, which climate change is making an increasingly scarce resource in drought-stricken southern Europe.

Angry farmers have staged protests from Poland, to Germany, to France and Slovenia in recent months to draw attention to numerous complaints, including cheap supermarket prices, low-cost imports from outside of Europe, and EU green policies some say are excessive.

Reuters

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Latest news