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Agriculture minister: Brussels arm-twisting farmers

Mandatory and specific targets set down in the Green Deal, while advancing a political agreement on CAP reform, could also result in a decline in agricultural production, leading to drastic food price hikes, Minister of Agriculture Istvan Nagy said at a Luxembourg meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.

Ordinary people and farmers should not have to pay the price of the EU’s green targets, the minister insisted, noting that the agricultural sector was expected to aid the green transition by implementing new green requirements as part of the new Common Agricultural Policy.

In a statement on Monday, Nagy said there was no doubt that agriculture must help towards achieving climate protection targets. But environmental and competitiveness aspects, he added, should be balanced.

Political agreement on CAP reform reached in June this year struck this balance, he said, adding that the overwhelming majority of agriculture ministers agreed that EU legislation was the sole basis for adopting CAP strategic plans.

But the European Commission has since decided to force member states to accept ambitious and quantified targets set out in the Farm-to-Fork and Biodiversity strategies that are not yet part of any EU legislation.

Nagy said several informal impact studies indicated that implementation of the strategies carried grave economic consequences such as a fall in production and drastic food price rises. Hence, Brussels is burdening the population and farmers with the costs of the green transition, he added.

Social support is essential for the green transition’s success, but this hinges on secure food supply and a viable farming sector, the minister said.

Nagy said that according to the 2027 CAP agreement, 2030 targets cannot be set in concrete, yet this is precisely what the EC was proposing.

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