Dutch Agriculture Minister Piet Adema is pleased with the 'listening ear and strategic dialogue' that President Ursula von der Leyen offered to European farmers last week.
Adema praised the tone of her annual speech and referred to the recent Dutch (stalled) agricultural consultation 'to keep talking to each other; away from polarization'. German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir expressed similar words at the monthly Agriculture Council on Monday.
Both governments criticized the fact that some European agricultural proposals are in danger of being postponed due to the now announced 'Ursula dialogue'. Adema and Özdemir pointed out that European farmers need a level playing field, and that new European legislation is therefore needed in many areas.
Both believe that the European Commission should in any case deal with the announced new animal welfare legislation.
The green German minister further said that the European Commission should have listened earlier and better to the criticism of Climate and Environmental Laws in recent years. According to him, because of this stubborn attitude from the start, there are serious flaws in the SUR bill for halving hazardous chemicals. Özdemir publicly expressed his dissatisfaction, without naming any Commissioners.
The German minister pointed out that the still pending pesticide proposal will be disastrous for many fruit growers and grape growing for the wine industry. Moreover, the Commissioners are not making previously promised improvements. We can all announce and do, but it comes down to actually executing, he grumbled.
It is still not clear how the countries that have already started to make significant reductions in hazardous substances will be 'honoured'. That is something that the Netherlands has also been pushing for all along. Furthermore, Environment Commissioner Sinkevicius has still not made it clear what he means by 'vulnerable ecological effects', while his Agriculture colleague Janusz Wojciechowski has long since said 'that this will be scrapped'.
The green German minister fears that the entire SUR proposal will be destroyed by all this fuss, because a few Central European agricultural countries have been completely against it from the start, there were a few waverers and only a few real supporters (including Germany and the Netherlands). .
Özdemir still believes that the use of chemicals should be reduced, and therefore announced an 'interim proposal'. The details are not yet known, but Özdemir said 'he will make use of the strategic dialogue announced by Commission President Von der Leyen'. He pointed out the positive results in Germany of the (now defunct) 'Zukunftkommission'.
Minister Adema also told reporters afterwards that agriculture will need 'some' chemicals for a long time, in addition to new 'green' products and new GMO techniques such as Crisp-Cas.