RIGA - Baltic farmers in a letter to the Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, to use the new EU multiannual budget as an instrument to ensure strong and fair recovery of the EU member states after the Covid-19 pandemic, Latvia's farmers organization Farmers' Assembly reported.
Baltic farmers believe that it is important that the recovery measures finally end the long existing inequality among EU farmers.
Farmers said in the letter that Covid-19 has changed the way Europeans work and live. Also farmers have to adapt to the changing trends, ensure availability of farming products for affordable prices. Direct payment serve as a safety net, especially during the crisis. However, the Baltic farmers are still being discriminated, receiving the lowest direct payments in the EU.
Farmers organizations reminded that since the three Baltic states joined the EU in 2004, they have been receiving the lowest direct payments among all member states, which currently amount to 54-60 percent of the average payments paid to other EU farmers. These payments have been based on incorrect calculations on productivity of the Baltic farmers before they joined the bloc.
Farmers also reminded that in 2013, the European Council agreed that by 2020 at latest all member states should reach the direct payment level at EUR 196 per hectar at least, but this agreement has not been fulfilled yet.