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Wednesday, 12.03.2014, 22:44
Estonian PM meets farmers’ representatives
"We're petitioning for the equal treatment of Estonian farmers in the European Union," he confirmed.
Support for Estonia and the other Baltic States is among the lowest in the union. The average level of direct support in the EU is 269 euros per hectare; in Estonia it is just 117, writes LETA.
Negotiations are ongoing in terms of the draft budget for the union for 2014-2020, of which agricultural support forms a significant part. Estonia's farmers are unhappy with the proposal put forward by the European Commission, which would see Estonian support rise to 58% of the EU average for the period 2017-2020.
"My view is that the single agricultural policy we currently have – and indeed the one that's in the planning – is not based on principles of equal and fair competition," Ansip said.
Today's meeting with the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce and the Central Union of Estonian Farmers was preceded by a campaign to gather signatures backing a joint declaration by associations of farmers from the Baltic States calling for equality in agricultural support in the new budgetary period of the European Union.
The farmers' representatives informed Prime Minister Ansip that by mid-June around 20,000 Estonians had given their signatures in support of the declaration. The prime minister said that such a large number of supporters would shore up the government's position in negotiations over the budget.