The countries of the Visegrád Group (V4) and the Baltic States have made a joint stand in favour of a suitably funded, strong, two-pillar Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) at the session of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg.

At the session, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Minister of State for Agricultural Economy György Czerván presented the joint statement on the future of the CAP signed by the agriculture ministers of the Visegrád Group and the Baltic States on 18 July. Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania have also assured their support of the document.

“In our joint statement, the Baltic States and the countries of the Visegrád Group agreed that in future the Common Agricultural Policy must continue to serve agricultural producers, and agrarian funding must continue to be received by farmers. It is in our countries’ mutual interests for the next Multiannual Financial Framework to provide a suitable level of financial finding for the realisation of increasingly ambitious EU agriculture policy goals. The statement firmly rejects the introduction of national co-financing with regard to direct agricultural funding”, Mr. Czerván emphasised.

“Similarly to all the other newly joined member states, the radical reorganisation of the current system is not in Hungary’s interests; we continue to have an interest in the preservation of a strong, two-pillar system. We regard as important the preservation of the elements of the system that are successful from a Hungarian perspective, including the system of production-based funding. With relation to rural development, the high ratio of non-returnable funding must be preserved. In addition, based on experience relating to the current period, we must pay particular attention to assuring the availability of resources for the prevention and raid handling of agriculture market emergencies”, he continued.

“The statement declares that the further reduction of the administrative burdens relating to CAP regulations is essential from the perspective of both farmers and national authorities”, he said. “This is a long process in which we have already achieved great success, but further significant steps are still required. Both the European Commission and member states can count on Hungary’s active cooperation within this field”, the Minister of State added.

Mr. Czerván also highlighted the fact that with relation to the payment of advances on direct funding, Hungary and several other member states had already asked the Commission to make high advance payments in July. The European Commission supported Hungary’s request, and accordingly a maximum of 70 percent of direct funding and 85 percent of area-based rural development funding may be paid out in advance from 16 October.

Mr. Czerván also held talks on future opportunities for banning food that contain GMOs from the market with the relative Deputy State Secretary from Denmark’s Ministry of Environment and Food, which the Ministry of Agriculture has already proposed to the agriculture ministers of member states.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)