From 10 to 12 July, Imants Lieģis, Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima, will be on a working visit to Belgium’s capital Brussels and Poland’s capital Warsaw to attend meetings of MEPs and MPs from EU’s national parliaments in order to defend Latvia’s position that our farmers should receive the same amounts of direct payments as farmers from other EU member states receive.
Lieģis will take part in the meeting of heads of European affairs committees of EU’s national parliaments in Warsaw on 10 and 11 July; he will attend the joint meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development with members of national parliaments on 12 July.
“I believe that at both events, it is necessary to address the recent multiannual EU budget proposal of the European Commission, especially with regard to the agricultural policy. My objective is to explain to members of the European Parliament and national parliaments that Latvia is dissatisfied with the insufficient increase of direct payments and that our country continues to strongly advocate creating a fair agricultural policy that would enable farmers from the poorest countries to receive the same amount of financing as do their counterparts in rich member states,” pointed out Lieģis.
The Chairman of the European Affairs Committee noted that Latvia’s aim is to achieve at least 80% of the EU-average amount of direct payments, that is, more than 200 euros per hectare. The maximum amount should also be brought closer to the average in order to even out the disparities. Thus Latvia cannot accept the proposal to add 50 euros to the current amount of 95 euros that is paid to its farmers, said Imants Lieģis.
“The proposal of the European Commission marks only the beginning of the discussion on direct agricultural payments, and negotiations can last even until next year,” reminded Lieģis. “Therefore, in order to achieve a favourable decision, we have to actively lobby our interests on the level of governments, the European Parliament and the national parliaments, as well as to harmonise our opinions in this regard with other new member states, especially Estonia and Lithuania, which also receive small direct payments,” stressed Lieģis.
Saeima Press Service