Offensive of the Law and Justice (PiS) party in the European Parliament. The European Commission pledges to increase its support for the farmers due to the Russian ban
On Monday a debate was held in the European Parliament concerning Russia’s embargo on agricultural imports from the EU. At the debate, MEPs from the Law and Justice party persuaded the European Commission to support Polish farmers, struggling with the effects of the embargo.
The debate was held on the instigation of MEPs Beata Gosiewska, Zbigniew Kuzmiuk and Janusz Wojciechowski. During the debate, Janusz Wojciechowski MEP emphasised the fact that the economic sanctions have affected both sides and that farmers from Baltic Republics and from Poland are bearing the highest costs. “Nowadays, more than ever, there is a need for European solidarity. The costs of sanctions must be split among not only all the farmers, but simply among all European citizens” said Mr Wojciechowski.
Zbigniew Kuzmiuk pointed out the general importance of the issue. “The European Commission acts as if the matter was non-essential. Yet the prices of plant and animal agricultural products in Poland have decreased by 30-40% comparing to the previous year. It is the direct effect of sanctions”, he recalled.
Law and Justice MEPs together stressed that the European Commission has at its disposal a reserve fund, designed for crisis management, and asked why it had not been made available so far. They also argued that, instead of protecting Polish farmers, the EC refuses to support them. “The decision taken last week regarding suspending applications from farmers, is outrageous and left them without any help. I cannot understand the reasons for which the European Commission, facing one of the most serious crises, refuses to use the fund designated to this very purpose”, said Beata Gosiewska. She also stressed that, given the current crisis, the dairy sector needs to be supported as well, and therefore financial penalties for not sticking with dairy limits shall be abolished.
The debate lasted three hours and it was attended by ca. 50 MEPs. A significant majority of MEPs agreed that, in order to finance the compensation mentioned, additional funding should be provided, not only from Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) resources, but also from other budgetary lines. “As Russian sanctions are obviously of political nature, the EU is obliged to reply at a political level, governed by a spirit of European solidarity”, said Zbigniew Kuzmiuk MEP.
According to the information provided by the European Commission, after the sanctions had been imposed by Russia, the Polish government did not ask the Commission to release the reserve fund of 400 000 000. “It is outrageous that the Polish government did not ask for the money”, said Janusz Wojciechowski.