Edition 1479
16 June 2018
Edition: 1479

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President worried by proposed cuts in EU farm subsidies, slow decision

by TPN/Lusa, in News · 11-06-2018 08:18:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal's president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on Friday expressed concern at the position that European Union officials have taken on cuts in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) foreseen for the period after 2020, in relation to economic cohesion between various member states.

President worried by proposed cuts in EU farm subsidies, slow decision

 

Not only the size of the cuts is important but also changes in the way requirements for matching funds from national governments are calculation, eligibility conditions, and who is to manage the funds, he stressed.

 

Speaking in Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores, at the closing sesison of a forum organised by the region's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIA), the Agricultural Federation of the Açores and the UGT trade union federation, the president described the current moment in the European Union as "difficult" and argued that "it make all the difference" whether decisions are taken now, before the elections for the European Parliament and the selection of a new European Commission, or afterwards.

 

According to de Sousa, the “worst example that Europe could give” in the current global setting is "this lack of definition about itself”.

 

According to a propsal presented last week in Brussels, the commission foresees a total CAP budget of €7.6 billion, at current prices, for the period from 2021 to 2027 inclusive - down from €8.1 billion in the current budget. There would be a slight increase in direct payments and cuts in funds for rural development, to be offset by national budgets.

 

In the Azores, the president notes, concerns about the impact of the changes include issues such as the price paid farmers for the milk they produce and investments made under the 'second pillar' of agricultural policy, in the scope of rural development.

 

“We're talking about concrete realities, real investments, of real people and real economic activities," he stressed,

Europe, he argued, cannot be strong if it "stops investing in social and territorial cohesion".

 

The president also expressed his concern that the EU “not stop considering as its priority growth and employment".

 

De Sousa is in the Azores as part of the official celebrations of Portugal Day, on 10 June, which this year are to take place both in Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel, and in the US cities of Boston and Providence - which are home to many thousands of Portuguese emigrants and descendants of emigrants, mostly from the Azores.

 

In 2016, when he took office as head of state, de Sousa in agreement with the prime minister, António Costa, launched the unprecedented practice of holding ceremonies to mark Portugal Day both in the country and also abroad, in a foreign country with a large emigrant community.

 

That year Portugal Day was celebrated in Lisbon and Paris; last year it was in Porto and in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and Brazil.

 

This year both de Sousa and Costa are both to fly to the US after the ceremonies in Ponta Delgada.

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Edition 1479
16 June 2018
Edition: 1479

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter