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EU offers concessions for farmers to stop protests

EU offers concessions for farmers to stop protests Photo: European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski (Getty Images)

Next week, the European Commission will present new legislative proposals to address the concerns of protesting farmers in EU countries, says European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski.

"There will be a proposal to significantly reduce the burden," he stated.

As the European Commissioner explained, this year the EU will not impose punitive sanctions on farmers who do not comply with environmental or climate standards. Additionally, changes will be introduced by the end of the budget period (from 2025 to 2027) to soften the requirements of the European Green Deal.

"It will be a package of solutions that should relieve farmers of all concerns, not so much about the Green Deal, but about its elements that are included in the Common Agricultural Policy," added Wojciechowski.

Among the measures will be the abandonment of mandatory afforestation of 4% of land. Farmers will also be able to continue leaving land fallow.

European Commission promised to find solutions to soften the strictness of crop rotation and the obligation to use winter cover crops. It is noted that each EU country will be able to choose the period for crop rotation independently.

Farmhouses up to 10 hectares will not be checked for compliance with environmental requirements. As the article notes, such farms make up 75% of all agricultural holdings in Poland.

Wojciechowski also proposed expanding state aid to farmers, referring to assistance in connection with the war in Ukraine.

Farmers' protests across Europe

There are several EU countries where farmers and agrarians have organized protests. Farmers are dissatisfied with the green course of the European Commission and demand concessions from both the EU and their governments.

In France and Poland, the protests have reached the largest scale. Polish protesters also demand restricting the import of goods from Ukraine. On Wednesday, March 6, they staged a large-scale protest in the center of Warsaw.

Furthermore, Polish farmers are blocking the border with Ukraine for both outgoing and incoming trucks.