On Thursday, 14 July, the Parliament of Latvia (Saeima) adopted two statements: the Statement on an Equitable Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union after 2013 and the Statement on the EU Budget’s Financing for Reducing Social and Economic Disparities after 2013. In the statements, the Saeima calls on the European Union (EU) to develop an equitable common agricultural policy so that farmers from all the member states receive the same direct area payments, as well as to maintain the existing level of cohesion funding in order not to jeopardise implementation of successfully launched investment programmes.
The Saeima reminds all the relevant parties that since 2004, Latvian farmers have been receiving the lowest direct payments in the EU, and that significantly reduces their competitiveness in the single market of the EU. The statement related to the agricultural policy emphasises that, unfortunately, the method of calculating direct payments proposed by the European Commission will not ensure fair competition between Latvian farmers and those of other member states.
Therefore, the Saeima calls on all the relevant parties to “adjust the distribution of the direct payments defined by the Communication of the Commission “A Budget for Europe 2020” (June 29, 2011) in such a way to avoid substantial differences between the highest and lowest level of direct payments in European Union”.
The Saeima also requests applying direct payments to Latvia in full as determined by the new method of calculation as of 1 January 2014 without a transition period. The Saeima points out that following accession to the European Union, a transition period is already in effect for Latvia until the end of 2013.
The Parliament’s statement regarding the cohesion policy stresses the great importance of cohesion funding for the economic growth of less developed member states. The Saeima stresses that “the Cohesion Policy has to reflect the solidarity of EU Member States with the less developed EU countries and regions by concentrating the Cohesion Policy financing mainly in these countries and regions”.
The statement expresses regret that in its 29 June document, the European Commission proposed to limit cohesion allocations to 2.5% of GNI. According to the Parliament of Latvia, this proposal can lead to significant reductions of existing and potential investments.
The Saeima calls on the EU member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission “to keep providing adequate financing for development programs and infrastructure in convergence countries so as not to endanger successfully launched and effectively functioning investment programs, which promote growth of these countries and consequent advancement towards the EU average development level”.
Saeima Press Service