On Thursday, 12 April, members of the three Baltic parliaments met in Tallinn, where they adopted a declaration urging that direct payments of the European Union (EU) be equalized faster than proposed by the European Commission and that the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) be reformed so that equal competition conditions are guaranteed to farmers in all the member states.
The declaration was signed by Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis, Chairman of the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee of the Saeima; Kalvi Kõva, Chairman of the Rural Affairs Committee of the Estonian Riigikogu, and Edmundas Pupinis, Chairman of the Committee on Rural Affairs of the Lithuanian Seimas. The chairmen and members of the agriculture-related committees of the three Baltic parliaments gathered in Tallinn for a meeting dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU.
The Baltic MPs emphasize in the wording of their joint declaration: „We support the course taken by the European Commission to adjust the distribution of direct payments between Member States, but at the same time we are concerned about the schedule of this process.” „We cannot agree with the speed of the unification which would leave the farmers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, also after 2013, for several years in unequal situation in comparison to the agricultural producers of other Member States.”
The declaration reiterates that the costs of agricultural production and the prices of raw materials in the Baltic States are close to the EU average, but the levels of direct payments based on historical references in the three countries are the lowest in the EU; such a situation hinders the competitiveness of the farmers of the Baltic States in the EU’s single market.
Therefore, the Baltic MPs call for „ the CAP reform that guarantees equal competition conditions, fair treatment and observing of the solidarity principle to the agricultural producers of all Member States”.
The adopted declaration also calls for „levelling of direct payments to take place quicker than the schedule proposed by the European Commission. During the next financial period adjustment of the distribution of the direct payments between Member States must be ensured in such a way that substantial differences between the highest and lowest level of direct payments in the EU are avoided”.
Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis, Chairman of the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee, was taking part in the conference in Tallinn, together with Jānis Dūklavs, Deputy Chairman, and Raivis Blumfelds, member of the Committee (National Alliance of All for Latvia! and For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK).
Saeima Press Service