Bilateral discussions on the future of EU farming continue

On March 12th 2012 the German Agricultural Committee met with the Romanian Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR), Stelian Fuia. The main discussion topics were the priorities of the governing programme and the project that Minister Fuia is preparing in order to make the Ministry’s activity more cost effective.

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The Minister expressed his desire to make MADR a Ministry of Rural Economy, something that can only be achieved by overcoming the EU funds absorption rate that is presently at almost 40%. The German authorities discussed the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020 with the Romanian officials, insisting on the forms of association of Romanian producers in competitive professional organisations able to produce for export. It was decided that the two EU Member States should harmonise their positions regarding the CAP post 2013.  Fuia informed the German officials that he wishes to grant equal subsidies for all European farmers, which would mean aligning the payments made to European farmers to those give in other Member States.

The Romanian Minister also declared that he wishes starting a “land bank” that would help with the arable lands merging in order to increase the productivity of Romanian farms. This institution should have the right to buy small plots and merge them, after which it would rent them to farmers. Romanian presently has 1,048,000 subsidised farms of which 978,000 are plots smaller than 10 hectares each.

The German Agricultural Committee also used the meeting to confirm that Romania will introduce measures to align itself with the European criteria for animal welfare.

This bilateral meeting was the last of a series of events that begun after the Romanian participation as a so-called ‘Partner State’ in the organisation of the International “Green Week” in Berlin in January 2012. This represented a great opportunity for both Romania and Romanian producers to present its agricultural potential that was so far known by several German investors.