“The Common Agricultural Policy must serve the interests of family farms”, Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas stressed in Brussels following a meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.

The Minister pointed out that the primary task of area-based funding provided within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is to supplement the income of farmers, whose income is well below that of other sectors. Accordingly, Hungary has an interest in assuring that the CAP budget, and within it the amount that can be spent on direct funding, remains at least its current level following 2020. “Maintaining the level of funding for agricultural development projects within rural development is extremely important. The Hungarian Government regards it as unacceptable for the EU to finance the handling of the migration crisis, for instance, from the funding that is due to farmers. Agricultural monies should go to farmers”, Mr. Fazekas stressed.

“We agree with the Commission’s goal according to which CAP resources should be distributed more equitably between farms of various sizes. According to our standpoint, the CAP must continue to do everything possible to support the operations of small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises and family farms in future”, the Minister highlighted.

According to Mr. Fazekas, production-based funding is one of the most effective forms of support, in view of which maintain them post-2020 is a priority. “This is the only element of direct subsidies that actually helps to maintain the current level of production and as a result European agricultural production, in addition to which it also helps to maintain competitiveness. We cannot ignore the fact that it is through these subsidies that we are best able to support sensitive, labour-intensive sectors”, he added.

“The EU-Mercosur free trade agreement to be concluded with the countries of South America, which would allow the European Union’s internal market to be flooded with cheap, mass-produced goods, represents a further danger to sensitive sectors. The Hungarian Government will not stand by idly and allow Hungarian agricultural producers to become the losers of the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement”, Mr. Fazekas declared.

At the meeting, the Hungarian Agriculture Minister presented the joint declaration signed in Budapest by the countries of the Visegrád Group (V4) and Croatia. “In the document, we succeeded in establishing a joint standpoint on such current issues as the preservation of the CAP’s two-pillar system, the need for farmer-friendly and simplified regulations, the maintaining of area-based and production-based funding, and within the field of rural development the maintaining of the determinative role of development projects. I believe it is extremely important that this was the first group of countries to put forward a joint proposal concerning the elements of the post-2020 CAP”, Mr. Fazekas said in closing.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)