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Election time in EU; Green Deal measures are to be reviewed to try and quell farmers protests

Saturday, March 16th 2024 - 12:27 UTC
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Farmers have organized marches on Paris, Berlin, and mostly Brussels to protest the Green Deal climate change measures Farmers have organized marches on Paris, Berlin, and mostly Brussels to protest the Green Deal climate change measures

European Parliament elections are scheduled for next June, so the European Commission faced with growing protests from farmers and their marches on some of the main cities, Berlin, France and Brussels, has in response proposed concessions on climate and environmental measures.

Farmers across Europe have insisted that proposed cuts to fuel subsidies, along with heavy environmental regulations as part of the  EU's Green Deal plan to tackle climate change, are placing a too heavy burden on their businesses

“The main goal of the legislative proposals is to further ease the administrative burden for EU farmers and give farmers and member states greater flexibility for complying with certain environmental conditionalities,” said a statement from Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. 

“Agricultural policy adapts to changing realities,” the statement added. 

Farmers from France, Germany and Poland have blocked cities and highways with tractors in recent weeks. The protests have disrupted the lives of tens of millions of EU citizens and cost businesses tens of millions of Euros due to transportation delays .

Besides farmers argue that the free-trade agreements, (such as those planned with Mercosur) cause unfair competitions due to products arriving from overseas.

Under the proposals, environmental regulations on crop rotation, soil cover protection and tillage methods will be loosened. Certain controls and penalties will also be exempted for small farmers, who are very active in the protest movement.

The Commission is under pressure because the farmers' cause has been taken up by far-right parties. EU member states will still have to approve the Commission proposals, which will be discussed by national agriculture ministers, who are next due to meet in Brussels on March 26.

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