The farmers of the Visegrad countries demonstrated together

By: STA Date: 2024. 02. 22. 09:30

Czech, Slovak, Polish and Hungarian farmers held a joint demonstration. Organized by the National Chamber of Agriculture, the Association of Hungarian Farmers’ Unions and Farmers’ Cooperatives, as well as the Czech, Slovak and Polish Chambers of Agriculture, producers protesting at several locations demand an immediate solution from the European Commission to the problems that have accumulated in recent months and years, including the issue of Ukrainian imports, and to the increasingly strict Brussels expectations of European farmers.

(Photo: Pixabay)

The European Commission would extend the unlimited and duty-free import of foodstuffs from Ukraine for another year, but with this step, the market disturbance that is already seriously affecting EU farmers would only deepen. The influx of Ukrainian products is making it impossible for producers and depressing prices to such an extent that EU farmers cannot compete. While the price of the trade agreement is paid by the producers, a significant part of the incoming goods do not meet the food safety requirements of the European Union, which raises serious concerns not only from the market, but also from a food safety point of view. In relation to the European market and regulatory situation affecting European farmers, especially the newly joined countries that are most affected by Ukrainian exports, the National Council of the Polish Chambers of Agriculture (KRIR), the Slovak Chamber of Agriculture and Food (SPPK), the Hungarian National Chamber of Agriculture (NAK) , the Chamber of Agriculture of the Czech Republic (AKČR) made the decision at the V4 meeting in Poland on February 12-13 to take joint action against the European Commission.

As a result of the agreement, a joint demonstration was held today in several locations to protect the interests of farmers

Hungarian, Slovak, Polish and Czech farmers protesting against the agricultural policy of the European Commission with power and working machines at the Slovak-Polish (Trestená, SK – Chyžne, PL), Czech-Slovak (Holič, SK – Hodonín, CZ) border crossing and the Slovak- they also held a protest action near the Ukrainian border, in addition, they voiced their dissatisfaction at the European Union representation in Bratislava and in 35 Slovak regional centers. On the Hungarian side, the joint demonstration organized by the National Chamber of Agriculture and the Association of Hungarian Farmers’ Cooperatives and Farmers’ Cooperatives, taking place simultaneously in several locations, aims to point out that the European Commission’s current agricultural policy needs to be reconsidered as soon as possible. In the framework of the protest action, the producers of the V4 countries issued a joint statement, according to which it is an indisputable fact that the primary task of agriculture is to guarantee food security and to produce high-quality and safe food. That is why it is crucial to preserve the economic viability of the agri-food industry in the European Union.

According to the joint statement, the farmers of the V4 countries reject the mandatory restriction of agricultural production

They call on the European Commission to cancel all legislation that in any way puts European farmers at a disadvantage in the field of growing crops or livestock, or restricts human activity in the landscape. They demand the protection of food production, rural values and traditions. In accordance with this, they call on the European Commission to prevent the import of goods and food from countries that do not comply with European Union norms. They support the introduction of mirror clauses to strengthen the protection of the European market and producers. I would oblige the European Commission to carry out an analysis of the effects on farmers and their production costs before introducing significant changes and new conditions affecting EU producers. According to the agricultural chambers of the V4 countries, the current duty-free import of Ukrainian goods – without respecting the different production conditions of the EU and Ukraine – leads to the collapse of the EU market, the lack of a level playing field and unfair competition. In order to facilitate the export of European and Ukrainian production outside the EU market, support for the costs of transport through the EU should be introduced without delay. In addition to Ukrainian imports, the producers of the V4 countries are also calling for the simplification of the bureaucratic requirements imposed on farmers.


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