We must continue to fight for our interests with relation to the Common Agricultural Policy

“Guarantees are required to assure that the adoption of the strategic plans of the Common Agricultural Policy are fair, objective and transparent," Minister István Nagy highlighted following a summit of Visegrád Group agriculture ministers in Budapest on Friday.

The minister pointed out that at the end of June European Union agriculture ministers succeeded in reaching a political agreement with the European Parliament concerning the three basic regulations of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), but this does not mean the end of the legislative process. “Because further efforts must be made to protect the interests of the V4 countries,” he explained, adding that “the submitting of the CAP’s strategic plans and their authorization by the European Commission are key issues with relation to the whole reform."

According to Nagy, the Hungarian position is clear: In the spirit of subsidiarity, within the framework provided by the basic regulations member states must be afforded the right to make the agriculture policy decisions required to make the implementation of the CAP conform to their own national idiosyncrasies.

“With relation to this, during the adoption of the strategic plans the Commission must be prevented from abusing the power conferred upon it to force its own will onto member states, which is often at odds with the national agricultural interests of individual countries," the minister said.

For precisely this reason, at their recent meeting in Budapest the Visegrád Four, together with Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia, issued a joint statement setting down their fundamental expectations with relation to the adoption of the strategic plans of the Common Agricultural Policy.

On the subject of sustainable food systems, István Nagy said that Hungary is treating the topic as a priority issue. “Because this is how we can assure access to healthy and nutritious foods, the fair treatment of every participant of the food supply chain, and also take into account the effects of production and consumption on the environment," he explained.

Minister Nagy said that digitalization is vital in the interests of the sustainable growth of the agricultural and food supply chain, and could also provide a solution to reducing food waste. “Around 88 million tons of food waste is generated in the European Union each year. The ratio of this is falling in Hungary, but there is also still a lot to do within this field, and also with relation to further improving the quality of rural life," the Minister emphasized.