site.btaBulgaria Calls for Removing or Raising Cap on Farmer Aid to Mitigate Ukraine War Effects

Bulgaria Calls for Removing or Raising Cap on Farmer Aid to Mitigate Ukraine War Effects
Bulgaria Calls for Removing or Raising Cap on Farmer Aid to Mitigate Ukraine War Effects
Agriculture and Food Minister Georgi Tahov at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Luxembourg, June 24, 2024 (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture and Food)

Bulgarian Agriculture and Food Minister Georgi Tahov insists that the European Commission should remove or raise the EUR 560,000 cap on the state aid which an undertaking active in the primary production of agricultural products may receive in response to the economic impacts of Russia's war against Ukraine within the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. The call was issued jointly by Bulgaria and Romania and is supported by Poland, Tahov told an EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, as quoted by his ministry.

During the meeting, the call was supported by four more member states.

Tahov argued that such limits leave out a lot of farm animals, areas planted with perennial crops and vegetables, and greenhouses. This deprives them of funding to make up for increased farming expenses, he said.

On another Bulgarian proposal, the Council considered a 12-month extension to the timeframe for payments under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. "Agricultural producers cannot implement their projects on time due to difficulties along the supply chains," Tahov said. He noted that European farming has been afflicted with a number of bad events in recent years, which has created much insecurity.

This proposal was backed by Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, Greece, Lithuania and nine more countries.

After a Croatian complaint about considerable damage inflicted on agricultural production by unfavourable weather conditions, Tahov said the situation in Bulgaria is the same, with huge damage reported every year. He called for discussing all possibilities to mitigate the adverse effects which such events have on the sector. He sees a need to revise the conditions for support from the EU Solidarity Fund.

On the topic of sustainable fishing in the EU, Tahov welcomed the European Commission's efforts to achieve the goals for the Black Sea, but pointed to a lack of adequate assessment of the continuing negative impact of the Ukraine war on Black Sea fishing for Bulgaria and Romania.

"The conflict generates constant safety risks to shipping in the Black Sea and narrows the fishing areas. These effects limit the capacity of the small Bulgarian fishing fleet for better economic performance," Tahov said. He insisted that Black Sea fishing regulations for 2025 should reflect the decisions which are to be made by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean.

/MR/

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By 08:36 on 14.07.2024 Today`s news

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