EU agriculture budget insufficient: minister

The EU agriculture budget is insufficient for unconstrained agricultural development, Agriculture Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski said on Monday at a meeting of east European agriculture ministers in Poznań, western Poland.

Among the issues discussed during Monday’s talks in Poznań were the need for an increase in the EU funds for the sector, the Common Agricultural Policy and the climate policy.

The meeting was organised as a part of the Polish presidency in the Visegrad Group and was attended, remotely and personally, by the Agriculture Ministers of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Slovenia. Janusz Wojciechowski, the EU commissioner for agriculture was also present at the conference.

Minister Ardanowski recalled that in February, the ministers from Eastern EU member states stressed the need of maintaining the considerable EU budget for agriculture in a joint declaration.

Apart from the issue of increased funds for Agriculture, the ministers were in sync regarding environmental protection. Desislava Taneva from Bulgaria pointed out that reaching the “green goals” at a country scale should be adjusted to the level from which respective EU states begin.

“Today’s meeting showed that every one of us understands the specific natures of the other EU member states. We are a family and we should protect the equality of all the farmers in the community, but also increase competitiveness with the use of agricultural technology that does not have a negative impact on the environment”, she said.

Aleksandra Pivec from Slovenia pointed to the need for cooperation between agriculture and science.

Zsolt Feldman, Secretary of State in the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, stressed that the participants of the meeting signed a declaration on Monday, which is a message to the European Commission, to other Member States, and to the EP and "shows how to professionally create the instrument and framework of the common agricultural policy after 2021 ".