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Maria Panayiotou: For green transition to be effective, it needs to offset side effects

The green transition is necessary, but in order for it to be fair and efficient, the reduction of farmers' incomes must be compensated with appropriate funding, Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou said in her intervention at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council held in Brussels. 

She also presented a series of proposals from the Republic of Cyprus on 26 February, which will be examined together with the proposals of all Member States.

"I am here to express the demands of the farmers of my country", said Panayiotou, stressing that the farmers of Cyprus "are involved in a vital sector" and that therefore "we have to provide them with the necessary tools for food production, the protection of the environment and rural areas, as well as to ensure their income".

"The green transition is necessary, but to make it fair and efficient, we must help our farmers adapt smoothly by compensating for the reduction in their incomes with appropriate funding," she said.

The debate among the Ministers for Agriculture of the EU focused on the need for a rapid and structural response to the crisis in the agricultural sector, amid demonstrations in the streets of Brussels near the building of the Council of the EU. The Ministers gave their political guidance on measures that need to be implemented, and acknowledged that "it is not enough to listen to farmers' demands, but they need to be put in a framework of short, medium and long-term practical support measures," according to the statement.

The proposals put forward by Cyprus for changes in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy include, as noted in the statement:

- Short-term proposals to reduce the administrative burden on farmers,

- Medium- and long-term measures to simplify and provide flexibility in the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy,

- Additional support for farmers to ensure the implementation of the EU's green transition and environmental policy,

- Ensuring flexible procedures for amending the Strategic Plans to meet the needs of farmers and the specificities of the Member States,

- Easing commitments and exempting small farmers from the application of conditionality; and

- Further support for farmers, by introducing a new measure to grant temporary exceptional support to those affected by internal or external crises.

Finally, Panayiotou expressed her satisfaction that in his statements following the meeting, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski also referred to suggestions made by the Republic of Cyprus.

In the context of the Council's work, the Commission presented the mandatory use of the CATCH digital system to combat illegal, illegal and unregulated fishing. Panayiotou supported the Commission's efforts to promote the use of CATCH by third countries as an action that will have a positive impact on ensuring a level playing field.

(Source: CNA)

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