EU commissioner for agriculture: leaving arable land fallow can be permanently voluntary

By: STA Date: 2024. 03. 08. 09:00

Permanently, at least until 2027, it can be voluntary to leave four percent of the arable land fallow – EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski announced on Friday in an interview given to the Polish channel Radio Wnet.

(Photo: Pixabay)

“I can state that there will be no waste until 2027”, and the measures after 2027 will be decided by the new European Commission – said Wojciechowski. He referred to the farmers’ demonstrations taking place in recent weeks in Europe, including in Poland, where the farmers protest, among other things, against the fact that, according to Annex 8 of the Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition of the Land (GAEC), which entered into force on January 1st, with arable land larger than 10 hectares holding farms are obliged to leave 4 percent of the land fallow.

Wojciechowski recalled that the obligation to leave fallow was suspended three times by the European Union on his initiative

And his new draft is aimed at making mandatory devastation permanent and voluntary, and only take place within the framework of the so-called eco-schemes with EU subsidies, he said. He expressed his conviction that the draft will win the support of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in the next few days. He indicated that the draft prepared by him also contains other amendments to the common greyhound policy favorable to farmers. In the interview, Wojciechowski also responded to the fact that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said at a press conference on Thursday that he will meet with representatives of Polish agricultural organizations on Saturday and “make an important announcement” about the EU’s green agreement, including leaving fields fallow. Without going into details, the prime minister indicated that he is “in constant contact with Brussels” about the case. At the same time, Tusk called on Wojciechowski “not to ruin something now that the decisions are presumably being finalized”. “I am not aware of any specific proposals that Prime Minister Tusk has presented, and I do not think that he will present anything beyond what I have already submitted to the committee,” Wojciechowski responded to Tusk’s words on Friday. He said: he interprets what was said as if the prime minister was “calling him to some kind of passivity”, while he, as commissioner of agriculture, “is taking very active steps” in order to satisfy the demands of the protesting farmers. On Thursday evening, the Polish news portal quoted the letter that, according to the editors, Wojciechowski addressed to the Polish prime minister in connection with his statements that day. In the leaked letter, the commissioner called it impermissible and a violation of the EU Treaty for the prime minister of a member state to “give instructions and guidance” to a member of the European Commission. At the same time, Wojciechowski expressed his hope that Tusk and his cabinet will support the “initiatives beneficial to farmers” prepared by him at every stage of the legislative process.


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