Agricultural trade unions demand inclusion in the Council for Social Dialogue – said the president of the National Union of Farmers, Farmers’ Associations and Agricultural Organizations, Władysław Serafin, during Tuesday’s meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Czesław Siekierski. The organizations supported the agricultural protest, which is scheduled to take place on February 9.
- During the meeting with the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, farmers presented a number of demands that they expect to be implemented by the government and the European Commission.
- One of them was the inclusion of agricultural unions in the Social Dialogue Council.
– Today there is no consultation with the government as we imagine. Consultations with the ministry are of a technical nature – Władysław Serafin, president of the National Association of Farmers, Agricultural Clubs and Organizations, justified his request. Farmers also expect from the Polish authorities: accelerating the disbursement of funds for direct subsidies as well as increasing funds for subsidies for production, which – as he emphasized – is becoming less profitable every month. In turn, one of the leaders of Oszukana Wieś, Wiesław Gryn, appealed for a total ban on the import of certain agricultural products.
Almost all the voices of rural representatives repeated the demand to stop or introduce radical changes in the “EU green deal”, to introduce border controls with Ukraine and “to limit all breeding in Poland”, because – as they justified – without breeding, “we cannot talk about farmers producing cereal”. The organizations also supported the project announced for February 9 this year. farmers’ protest, the main reason for which is the decline in production profitability and poor position in food distribution.
Michał Kołodziejczak, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who was present at the meeting, assured farmers that there is no government project limiting breeding in Poland. – The government does not envisage such a project. There are projects of individual parties, he said.
In turn, the Minister of Agriculture, Czesław Siekierski, referring to the demand for delays in payments in direct subsidies, said that it was related to the adaptation of the IT system and that the funds would be transferred to farmers’ accounts in March and April.
The head of the ministry assured that farmers’ demands had been reported to the European Commission and expressed hope that Brussels would verify some elements of its policy. He recalled that on Tuesday, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced during a debate in the European Parliament that the EC was withdrawing the project to limit the use of pesticides in agriculture in the EU. He also said that he would talk to the Minister of Finance about increasing support for farmers from national funds.
Farmers’ protests have been going on in Belgium for the last week, culminating in the appearance of over 1,000 people on Thursday. tractors in Brussels. The machines blocked traffic in the capital during a meeting of EU leaders. Demonstration participants are dissatisfied with some provisions of the European Green Deal, but also with the decision of the Flemish government, which imposed new restrictions on the use of nitrogen in the agricultural sector. Protests also continue in France, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. On Sunday, Hungarian Minister of Agriculture Istvan Nagy announced that he would not open borders to Ukrainian grain until a common European solution is found to limit the inflow of agricultural products from Ukraine.