Zagreb - European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski met with the Chair of the Agriculture Committee Tomislav Panenić and the Committee Members in the Croatian Parliament.
Tomislav Panenić thanked Commissioner Wojciechowski for his visit and recalled the high expectations of the Member States regarding the proposal for a new Common Agricultural Policy framework and the funds to be channeled from the Multiannual Financial Framework to this sector. He recalled the importance of reaching a compromise in policy-making and the importance of strengthening communication with national parliaments in the process of harmonizing European policies.
Commissioner Wojciechowski stressed that he perceived the Croatian Presidency of the Council, which has been occurring at an extremely crucial time for key decisions on the Multiannual Financial Framework and the new Common Agricultural Policy, as an opportunity to direct the debate.
Participants discussed a number of CAP challenges, such as a declining trend in family farms, depopulation of rural areas, the need to increase "green ambition" and additional funding for environmental and bioeconomy challenges, the problem of the concentration of agricultural lands in the EU, unfair trading practices and dumping rates for agri-food products.
It was pointed out that Croatia did not support the reduction of the CAP implementation funds and that the CAP could not merely be observed through agricultural production, but it also needed stronger protection of its social and cultural impact.
Commissioner Wojciechowski stressed the importance of exchanging experience and good practices among Member States stressing that agricultural policy should be more democratic in achieving its objectives. He also noted that strategic plans represented an opportunity to guide Member States' agricultural policies in line with the agricultural and processing sector's own needs, as well as the regional needs of the Member States.