VILNIUS – The agriculture ministers of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland have agreed to jointly seek alignment of direct payments.
The ministers met in Poland and signed a declaration aimed at ensuring that equal direct payments to all farmers in the EU and proper execution of the reform of the common agricultural policy.
"The analysis of agricultural productions costs shows the existing differences in direct payments among EU member states are unfounded. How can our farmers compete when they are required to comply with the same criteria as farmers getting three times more?" Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Andrius Palionis was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The existing EU direct payment average now stands at 266 euros per ha, and Lithuanian farmers received 166 euros last year.
Back in 2013, it was agreed by the European Council that Lithuanian farmers would be paid at least 196 euros per ha in late 2019. Under the existing EC proposal, Lithuanian farmers would be paid 80 percent of the EU average in 2027.