MEPs debate support for EU farmers to deal with COVID-19

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Ways to help farmers in supplying food during the COVID-19 pandemic will be debated by the Agriculture Committee and Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski on Wednesday from 15.00.

The debate will focus on measures proposed by the European Commission so far, including loans or guarantees at favourable conditions to cover operational costs of up to €200,000 and reallocating unused agriculture funds to fight the effects of the COVID-19 crisis in rural areas.

The Commission also proposed to cut the number of physical on-farm checks and to increase, from mid-October, advances of direct payments and rural development payments.

MEPs are also set to quiz Commissioner Wojciechowski on how he intends to secure cross-border access for farmers to all necessary production inputs, including feed and plant protections products, and how he plans to ensure that some sort of cross-border movement for seasonal workers is allowed during the ongoing harvest season.

Background

In two separate letters addressed on 23 March to Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski and to Croatia’s Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković, Agriculture Committee Chair Norbert Lins urgently called for further action to help EU farmers and to avoid a disruption in food supply.

A first discussion of the EU’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak with Commissioner Wojciechowski already took place on 30 March during the meeting of coordinators of political groups in the Agriculture Committee. More details here.

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