Commissioner Hogan in Poland – discussion about the future of agriculture in the EU

Monday, 13 March 2017 r.

On Saturday (11 March), Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel participated in the international conference on the future of agriculture in the European Union, organised in Jasionka near Rzeszów by the European Rural Development Fund.

Photo. Left – Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel, Commissioner Phil Hogan, Minister of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic, Gabriela Matečná and Minister of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, Marian Jurečka

Photo. Left – Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel, Commissioner Phil Hogan, Minister of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic, Gabriela Matečná and Minister of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, Marian Jurečka

The event was attended by: EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, Minister of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, Marian Jurečka, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Slovakia, Gabriela Matečná, State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary, István Nagy, and Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Lithuania, Rolandas Taraškevičius.

The discussion as part of the panel “Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union as an element of the agriculture and rural development in the Visegrad Group countries” was carried out in the context of the ongoing public consultations on the shape of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2020. It related to the assumptions and future of this policy, including the options of the CAP reform proposed by the European Commission. The Ministers of Agriculture of the Visegrad Group countries and Lithuania, present at the conference, pointed to the priority importance of maintaining two pillars under the future CAP. They stressed a need to carry out strong development-oriented activities under the second pillar and a necessity to implement by the CAP its Treaty objectives and to guarantee the equal conditions of competition within the European Union through aligning direct payments. In addition, the Visegrad Group countries and Lithuania expect a real simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy, its linking with the cohesion policy, as well as significant strengthening of the producer’s position in the supply chain. In the context of the decision of Great Britain to leave the European Union, it is necessary to take efforts to provide adequate financing of the CAP and to create favourable conditions for future cooperation with this important partner.

The second discussion panel “Review of the applied and implemented crisis management instruments in order to ensure the sustainable and competitive development of the agricultural sector in Poland” was attended by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Jacek Bogucki. The talks focused on financing agricultural insurance. In Poland, pursuant to the MARD decision, we allocate nearly PLN 1 billion for this purpose. This amount is more than four times higher than before, for payments from the state budget resources to insurance premiums of agricultural crops. They also discussed the methods to popularise agricultural insurance, the role of the mutual insurance fund as well as definition of crisis management instruments of the agricultural sector in Poland.

As part of the programme accompanying the conference, there was a working meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Visegrad Group countries and Lithuania with Commissioner Phil Hogan, dedicated to the issues of the future of the CAP and agricultural land marketing. When discussing about the most important expectations in the field of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2020, the Ministers pointed to a need of rapprochement of positions in the key aspects concerning the objectives, form and financing of this policy – so that the voice of our region was audible and taken into account in the EU forum. Among the major issues, they raised a need to reduce administrative burdens, the role of research and innovation in agriculture and a need to create the conditions for the competitiveness of the European agricultural sector in the world.

As part of the discussion about marketing of agricultural land in the European Union, the Ministers of Agriculture of the Visegrad Group countries and Lithuania expressed their agreement as to the fact that land is a limited resource and the most important means of food production. They jointly stressed that due to this, agricultural real estate marketing in the European Union should not be subject to regular market rules, and the exclusive competence with respect to the rules of protecting land against the speculative purchase should be held by the individual Member States.

It was agreed that the discussion in this respect would be continued within the framework of the meeting of the international working group for assessing the legal state of agricultural land marketing in the EU Member States, established at the initiative of Minister Jurgiel. The first meeting will be held in March in Warsaw. On the other hand, the CAP priorities after 2020 will be a subject of the discussion at the next meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the Visegrad Group countries in the formula 4+3, i.e. extended by Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia, under the Polish Presidency in this group, which was scheduled for this June.

During the bilateral meeting with Commissioner Hogan, Minister Jurgiel discussed the current Polish matters in the area of agriculture and rural areas. The following issues were raised: issue of coupled payments, support for fruit and vegetable producer groups, support in connection with the difficult situation in the pork market in Poland due to ASF, Polish priorities within the framework of the Omnibus initiative, approval of the amendments to the RDP 2014-2020 and financial instruments as part of the RDP as well as the research topics indicated by the countries of the extended Visegrad Group to be implemented under the Horizon 2020 programme on research and innovation in the area of agriculture.