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Kelly calls on EU Leaders to Prioritize Agriculture in Upcoming Council Meeting

Published: Wed, 13 March 2024

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Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, addressed President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, calling for greater urgency in addressing the pressing issues plaguing the agriculture sector.

“In the upcoming Council meeting, leaders will deliberate on the challenges confronting our agriculture sector, and I cannot overstate the significance of this discussion,” remarked Kelly.

Kelly highlighted the extraordinary economic hardships endured by farmers in recent years, attributing them to various factors including the COVID-19 pandemic, energy price spikes, unfair international competition, and escalating inflation.

“The livelihoods of our farmers have been severely impacted by unprecedented economic challenges. It is imperative that we prioritize their well-being and resilience,” Kelly emphasized.

Looking ahead to the formulation of the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2028-2034, Kelly urged leaders to elevate agriculture as a key political priority.

“The new CAP must include a robust economic pillar to ensure the viability of direct farm payments. Our farmers, who tirelessly provide for our communities, deserve unwavering support,” Kelly asserted.

Kelly also underscored the need for streamlined administrative processes and enhanced financial assistance to facilitate the transition to sustainable farming practices.

“We must alleviate unnecessary administrative burdens and provide adequate financial backing to support our farmers as they strive towards achieving net-zero emissions,” Kelly stated adamantly.

Moreover, Kelly called for a deeper understanding of farmers’ challenges within the European Commission, advocating for separate legal frameworks for agriculture and industrial emissions.

“It is essential to acknowledge the unique challenges faced by farmers. Having agriculture fall under the Industrial Emissions Directive does not make much sense. There should be two respective legal instruments. However, the Commissioner’s commitment to addressing this disparity is welcomed,”Kelly remarked.

In conclusion, Kelly urged leaders to prioritize the safeguarding of Europe’s sustainable food production, emphasizing the critical importance of securing domestic energy sources.

“The recent energy crises have underscored the necessity of protecting our local food production. Leaders must articulate a clear commitment to this imperative,” Kelly concluded

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