The EU approves easing bureaucratic burdens within the countryside to alleviate the discomfort of the sector | Economy | EUROtoday

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With the background noise of a brand new rural protest earlier than the European establishments in Brussels, the EU Agriculture Ministers have endorsed this Tuesday the brand new proposals of the European Commission to additional alleviate the bureaucratic burden of the sector and loosen up environmental situations to entry direct help from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), from whose sanctions and controls small farmers may also be exempt.

The determination to assist the proposals launched on March 15 by the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was taken early within the morning by the Special Committee on Agriculture, the physique that prepares the conferences of the ministers of the sector and by which All Member States are represented. According to the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, at this assembly it was already clear that the mandatory certified majority could be reached among the many international locations for the proposals to be authorised, which is able to now additionally must be reviewed by the European Parliament. in an emergency process.

The EU hopes that the brand new guidelines can come into pressure “in late spring”, though they could be utilized retroactively to January 1 of this 12 months. An instance, the Council of the EU has careworn in a press release, of the “commitment of the three institutions – Council, European Parliament and Commission – to respond quickly to the current situation of European farmers.”

The protests which have been shaking the countryside for months have triggered critical concern in all European capitals and in Brussels itself, particularly because of the concern that the anger of the countryside might be capitalized on by the acute proper within the European elections in June. Pressure from the sector has compelled the Commission, on the request of the States, to behave rapidly and current a sequence of flexibilities, particularly in environmental issues, of the CAP, extremely questioned by environmental defenders as a result of its approval with out having been carried out. earlier than affect research. Germany has additionally expressed reservations: “When we talk about ending bureaucracy, it cannot mean ending environmental regulations, but rather that, where there is bureaucracy that leads to an unnecessary burden, it should be reduced,” identified its Minister of Agriculture, Cem Özdemir.

Brussels, nevertheless, maintains that they’re “temporary” and “concrete” derogations and that they’re “sufficiently calibrated, detailed and limited in time to maintain a high level of environmental and climate ambition in the CAP.”

“It is about giving a concrete response to farmers,” summarized the Belgian Minister of Agriculture, David Clarinval, whose nation holds the rotating presidency of the EU this semester and who can also be involved in regards to the affect of the agricultural protests not solely within the European elections, but additionally within the Belgian nationwide elections that might be held on the similar time. Some 300 tractors as soon as once more blocked among the entrances to the so-called European quarter of Brussels, the place the primary EU establishments are based mostly. Although the police once more used water vans and tear fuel to disperse among the protesters, the extent of the protest was a lot decrease, each in attendance and affect, than the final rally, in February, additionally throughout one other Council of Ministers. . Even so, Clarinval has assured, “we do not forget them.” According to him, he celebrated, the proposed revisions of the CAP will present “more flexibility, responses that will allow them to increase their income” to farmers.

The new proposal seeks to learn small farmers above all: farms of lower than ten hectares might be exempt from the controls and sanctions linked to environmental conditionality necessities, which is able to simplify each their work and that of the administrations accountable for surveillance, maintains Brussels. This measure, the Commission emphasizes, will apply to 65% of the beneficiaries of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), however is not going to “significantly” have an effect on environmental ambitions because the beneficiaries solely domesticate round 10% of the overall agricultural areas. argues. In Spain, Planas defined, the proposal will profit 345,000 filers, greater than 50% of the overall.

In its newest package deal to quell protests, the Commission has additionally proposed giving states extra flexibility when demanding sure environmental situations from farmers. These are the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (BCAM), the ten necessities imposed from Brussels, included throughout the CAP, created with the goal that agricultural practices don’t hurt the local weather, atmosphere and animal welfare.

Among others, it’s proposed to utterly remove the duty to go away at the least 4% of arable land fallow or on non-productive surfaces and permit the duty to rotate crops to get replaced by a “diversification” of them. In addition, particular exemptions might be allowed to the ban on changing or plowing environmentally delicate everlasting pastures in Natura 2000 websites (the community of protected areas for the conservation of biodiversity throughout the EU) in case they endure harm from predators or species invasive.

Planas welcomed that the Commission's proposal consists of “entirely” all of the requests for flexibility introduced by Spain, though he insisted that we should “continue moving forward” and in addition handle different points, similar to “unfair” commerce practices.

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