Estonian minister: Nearly 3-fold difference in direct support in EU unacceptable

  • 2020-06-29
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian Minister of Rural Affairs Arvo Aller said it is unacceptable that direct support in the European Union differs up to three times in terms of size.

"The challenges facing the member states are just as great, as are the investments needed to tackle them. When participating in a single market that should be based on fair competition and where, as has been said today, all EU producers must comply with the same mandatory additional requirements," Aller said in a press release.

In his statement, Aller emphasized the need to take greater account of regional specificities. "For Estonia, for example, it would be important to include liming of acidic agricultural soils in the environmental and climate measures, with corresponding support from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget," the minister said.

"Estonia does not support 2015 as the reference year for the preservation of permanent grassland, which is too far from reality and does not convey the real situation of land use. As a proposal, we asked for the reference year to be 2018," he said.

In the field of fisheries, it is important for Estonia to move forward with the processing of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund draft and to ensure equal treatment in the process, that is the harmonization of the maximum support rates for both small-scale coastal fishing and inland fishing.

"It is important to bring stability to the fisheries sector through greater flexibility in management plans and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) regulation," Aller said.

The minister added that as a result of the drying up of the markets due to the health crisis, it is necessary to consider the transfer of catch quotas to the next year in a larger amount than has been the usual transfer rate.

More broadly, however, instead of a more capacity-based approach, the focus should be more on fisheries management, Aller said.

"In our opinion, investments on board fishing vessels fishing for different species under quotas and the modernization of the fleet will not have a negative impact on stocks. When fishing under quotas, catch quota limits ensure the conservation of fish stocks. However, the investments made contribute to the achievement of climate goals," the minister said.

At an informal video conference of EU agriculture and fisheries ministers on Monday, the Croatian EU presidency briefed the ministers on the state of play of negotiations on the reform of CAP and summarized the state of play of draft legislation in the fisheries sector.