On Monday, 30 January, in her meeting with the ministers of agriculture from the Baltic States, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, stressed that the three countries should join their efforts and use all available resources to ensure that the next Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union (EU) is more favourable for the Baltic States.
Latvia hosted the visit of Helir-Valdor Seeder, Estonian Minister for Agriculture, and Mindaugas Kuklierius, Lithuanian Deputy Minister for Agriculture.
Āboltiņa emphasised that the support to our farmers and the agricultural sector in general is crucial for our future development. “The unequal direct payments distort the market, prevent our farmers from competing with their counterparts from other member states on equal footing and impede rural development in general,” she said.
The Speaker also told the ministers that this is the right time to take practical steps in demonstrating that the Baltic States still stand united: “We often speak of the unity between the Baltic States, we recall historically decisive events such as the Baltic Way, the Barricades, as well as our accession to the EU and NATO. However, this unity is meaningless if we are unable to cooperate, take coordinated actions and jointly achieve our objective.”
Āboltiņa also pointed out that topical issues pertaining to the Multiannual Financial Framework and direct payments to farmers were mentioned by nearly all the MPs who took the floor during the annual foreign policy debate held in the Saeima last week. “Clearly, this will be a matter of high priority for the current Saeima, and successful resolution of the problem will require effort at all levels, including the Presidium of the Saeima, the parliamentary committees, as well as each and every MP whenever there is an opportunity to explain the current unjust situation and to protect our interests,” said the Speaker.
“However, one cannot fight alone. We have to seek allies and establish partnerships. This can be done only by first coordinating the positions among ourselves - the Baltic States. Extending this cooperation to the regional level would enable us to protect our interests at the EU level. This is why your efforts are highly appreciated,” said Āboltiņa in her address to the ministers.
The Speaker also declared that this year, as well as the following year, will be decisive in shaping the future of the EU and our states. It is in our common interest to ensure that the EU overcomes the current crisis, regains its confidence in the common future and the trustworthiness of euro, as well as lays a foundation for sustainable development.
Photos from the meeting are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/sets/72157629096622601/with/6788573407/
When using the material, please give credit to the Saeima Chancellery.
Saeima Press Service