Within the CAP we have competitiveness and sustainability goals. Agriculture must play an important role, also has to include climate change challenges.
Commissioner Phil Hogan
On Saturday, 2 March 2019, approximately 650 participants held a vibrant two-hour Citizens’ Dialogue in Jasionka, Poland, with the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan. He shared the stage with Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and Wladyslaw Kosiniak – Kamysz, President of the Polish Peasants' Party (PSL) to talk about the future of CAP and sustainable development policy. The Citizens' Dialogue was part of the the European Agricultural Forum.
Commissioner Hogan presented the main details of the future Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and all that is relevant to Polish farmers. -In the period from 2014 to 2020, some €32 billion will be invested in Poland's farming sector and rural areas through the CAP. Of this total, Poland's direct payment allocation amounts to €23.4 billion – he said.
The Commissioner underlined that the new CAP also means the simplification of procedures and more trust between the European Commission and Member States. We have to control food safety. We need to ensure that our food is safe – he added.
In this context, many participants representing the farming sector wanted to know what both Poland and the EU can do to protect Polish farmers from unfair competition from Ukraine? Especially regarding the import of cereal from Ukraine.
One participant voiced their concerns about the high quality poultry production in Poland also in the context of imports from Brazil.
How will Polish farmers be protected by the new CAP? Are allocations from the CAP addressed to farmers or rather to owners of buildings and infrastructure located in rural areas? – one participant asked the Commissioner. He was reassured that the Commission is aware of the issue and allocations for farmers are properly secured.
Participants touched upon some of the Brexit related problems. -Are we (Poland and the EU) prepared for a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario? – a young farmer asked both the Prime Minister and the Commissioner.
Within the EU we have many new challenges right now, among them Brexit seems to be the most important. Once the UK leaves, the EU will lose one of the biggest contributors to the EU’s budget, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki replied. Commissioner Hogan added: it is difficult to understand what is going on in the House of Commons. This is not a fault of our farmers that the UK leaves the EU.
The participants wanted to know more about closing the gap between rural areas and big cities on high speed internet. - The future CAP will work in synergy with cohesion funding and digital policy to assist with the roll-out of high speed broadband to rural areas – Commissioner Hogan replied.
The discussion then turned to issues related to Polish food producers. We want to ensure that Polish products are present on a larger scale in foreign-owned megastores in Poland. Legislation on this is on the way – Mateusz Morawiecki announced, and Commissioner Hogan added: It’s important to help farmers rather than retailers. We need also to strengthen producers’ networks.