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Published: 21 february 2020 10:05

MEP Olekas: The future of Lithuanian farmers - in the hands of G. Nausėda

Juozas Olekas
Žygimanto Gedvilos / 15min nuotr. / Juozas Olekas

Before the extraordinary European Council meeting in Brussels, Baltic farmers once again met in a picket call on the European Council to draw attention to the long-standing discrimination faced by European farmers. Inequality between European farmers must end, promises must be reflected in the Multiannual Financial Framework, and President Nausėda must defend Lithuania's interests, says Member of the European Parliament Juozas Olekas.

“In the European Union's multi-annual budget, the common agricultural policy will face more challenges than usual. European farmers are tired of decades of inequality, where direct payments to farmers in the Baltic States are only 54-60% of the EU average and their agricultural production costs are more than 10% above the EU average. By raising high standards of food safety, environmental protection and technology on farms, we need to understand that achieving these goals requires a sustainable budget at EU level.

The UK's withdrawal from the EU raises additional questions. We can already see that small British farmers fear that it will be impossible to maintain small farms that meet high market standards without direct payments and appropriate support. We must learn from this example and do our utmost to prevent EU farmers from being faced with such circumstances. The loss of the UK's contribution to the EU budget calls for measures to replace it, and Member States must actively contribute to these efforts. But we cannot cut the budget. In the European Parliament, we believe that the budget proposed by both the Commission and the Council does not meet the challenges and expectations that exist in the long term.

President Nausėda publicly expressed support for equalization of direct payments by 2027, so at the moment it depends on how he defends Lithuania's position at the Council meeting” says socialdemocrat MEP J. Olekas.

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