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Iratxe García: “We need less polarisation and populism, and more dialogue to ensure fair income for farmers”

Date

07 Feb 2024

Sections

Agriculture & Food
Today in Strasbourg, MEPs held a plenary debate on how to empower farmers and rural communities, as part of a dialogue towards sustainability and fair compensation in the EU agricultural sector.
 
The president of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Iratxe García MEP, said:
 
“The agricultural sector needs the European Union, as much as the Union needs sustainable agriculture. Overcoming the agricultural crisis must be accomplished with the help of the EU and not with indiscriminate attacks on the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) – as has occurred, irresponsibly, with some governments, such those of Hungary and France.
 
“Let us not forget that the last reform of the CAP was approved by all national governments, of all political colours, including the Hungarian government led by Orbán, who is now riding tractors in an exercise in populism.
 
“We need more dialogue and less polarisation. Farmers must be aware that the struggle between the right and the extreme right damages their interests: the extreme right does not seek to increase agricultural subsidies, but rather renationalise agriculture, which would be devastating for the European countryside.
 
“Effective implementation – in all member states – of the directive against unfair commercial practices along the food chain is urgently needed to help improve the position of farmers in the supply chain. They deserve a fair price. 
 
“In addition, we need to maintain the extraordinary direct aid, especially for the most vulnerable farmers, in order to simplify the administrative burden and make sure that all member states apply 3% of their CAP funds to support young farmers.
 
“In no case can it be accepted that the current agricultural crisis calls into question the objectives of an agriculture compatible with the fight against climate change. Agriculture and environment go hand in hand.”

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