Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-07-07-Speech-4-181"

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"Today’s debate on support for agriculture in the outermost regions of the EU is a prime example of the two different common agricultural policies that are implemented. One is applied to the old EU Member States, and another to the new Member States. There can be no question that farmers living in the outermost regions of the EU suffer financial difficulties. At the same time, however, the 3.6 million farmers living in the new Member States face even greater problems. Farmers in the outermost regions have already enjoyed the full benefits of the common agricultural policy for many years, whereas the EU has graciously ‘allowed’ farmers in the new Member States to receive shockingly low direct payments, thus depriving them of the chance to achieve the levels of farmers in the old Member States. The decisions taken in this connection were not based on any economic or social grounds, and most certainly not on any ethical grounds. They do, however, pose serious threats to Europe’s food security and to the stability of the agri-food market in the European Union, as well as acting as a breeding-ground for dangerous social tensions. Farmers from the new Member States are still being discriminated against. The arguments and expert opinions that have been put forward have proved meaningless for the EU authorities, as has the anticipated level of funding. One need only be a farmer in a new Member State to be deprived of any chance of obtaining support, no matter how justified such support would be. The pretext used is non-compliance with the countless conditions imposed by Brussels. We should put a stop to this discrimination, and we should begin this task today, by refusing to consent to the minor issue of support for the outermost regions of the EU. By doing so, we would send out a warning to the enemies of a common Europe based on solidarity, and let them know that only those who have previously acted in solidarity can later rely on solidarity themselves."@en1

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