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EU must do more to help farmers tackle agriculture crises, MEPs tell Commissioner Hogan

Farming machinery
Farming machinery

Members of the Parliament's Agriculture committee called on Monday evening on Commissioner Phil Hogan to do more to tackle ongoing crises in the milk, meat and other agricultural sectors. They welcomed efforts of EU's executive to simplify current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) but some said more substantial initiatives, including legislative ones, should be considered.

The debate with Commissioner Hogan on ways to simplify the EU's farm policy, focusing mainly on more proportionate system of administrative penalties, but also on easier-to-implement greening measures and streamlined market-related rules, was to some extent overshadowed by the one on crises in agricultural markets, particularly in the milk and meat sectors. Many MEPs called on the Commissioner to do more to tackle falling prices farmers get for their produce while some deputies even accused the EU's executive of turning a blind eye to what is happening on agricultural markets.

MEPs welcomed Commission's simplification efforts, particularly in the field of sanctions, but some argued that substantial progress can hardly be achieved without opening basic CAP regulations with proper involvements of the Parliament in the process. Commissioner Hogan in his closing remarks did not rule this option out saying that changing of basic acts can be considered "as part of any mid-term look at the CAP."

MEPs also discussed with Mr Hogan impact on farmers of Russian embargo on EU's foodstuffs, ways to tackle unfair trading practices in the food supply chain, positive and negative aspects of potential Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement and World Trade Organisation (WTO) Nairobi deal on end of export subsidies.

To watch the full debate, click here.

Watch the debate via VOD
Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development