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V4+3 ministers discuss CAP, African swine fever and land use

Agricultural issues were the topic of discussion.

Gabriela Matečná(Source: TASR)

The future of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), protection from African swine fever, investments in agricultural research, the sale of agricultural land, and the sugar and grain markets were issues discussed by agriculture ministers from the Visegrad (V4) Group.

The V4 includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Its ministers met in Warsaw on Ocotber 26, Michal Feik of the Agriculture Ministry told the TASR newswire. In addition to officials from V4 countries, the meeting was also attended by representatives of Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania.

“The Visegrad Group is a functional platform that affords room for discussing issues concerning countries of central and eastern Europe, which are close to each other both in terms of geography and culture and share common problems," Slovak Agriculture Minister Gabriela Matečná said. “Slovakia welcomes and supports all proposals that contribute towards making the Common Agricultural Policy simpler, while increasing flexibility, subsidiarity and reducing the red tape for member states and the European Commission,” Slovak minister added.

The discussion on a CAP revision should draw up a more flexible response to global climate change, food security and the greening of business. Delegates concurred that not all motions sponsored by the European Commission would usher in a reduction in red tape.

Polish minister Krzystof Jurgiel warned that African swine fever poses a serious threat to EU farmers. In 2016, the disease spread to the eastern part of Poland’s Mazowieckie province and northern Lublin region. Like the other V4 countries, Slovakia pledged to support all initiatives aimed at curbing the impacts of the disease. Also broached was the protection of agricultural land, with the Slovak ministry attempting to prevent speculative purchases and the subsequent neglect of land and supporting land use primarily by active agricultural workers.

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