AGRI committee again asks for support for pig industry

To support the pork sector, the European Commission must allocate advertising budgets and undertake promotional actions to open up new markets. Brussels must also intervene in the EU market with a purchase scheme.

This writes Norbert Lins of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee to AGRI Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski. 

The European Commission has repeatedly rejected such requests in recent months. The highest official top of the commissioner's office argued last week that Brussels has no practical, financial and legal possibilities to intervene in a targeted manner. Many EU countries also believe that Brussels should somehow come up with extra money.

The content of Lins' letter has not yet been discussed or voted on in the AGRI committee, but that will be discussed in the regular meeting on Wednesday (February 2). Lins writes his letter 'with the consent of the majority of the groups in the committee'. EU Commissioner Wojciechowski rejects intervention because – in his view – it is not an agricultural issue that affects the pig sector, but a macro-financial-economic one.

Lins points out that in several EU countries the pig sector is in danger of collapse, leaving the industry in only a few countries to survive. “Continuously doing nothing […] would lead to concentration of pork production, with all the negative consequences for the environment, climate and regionalization. This is in stark contrast to our Green Deal and Farm to Fork objectives and ambitions,” the letter warns. 

Lins also points out that national rural development measures or state aid […] are not the most appropriate to address the situation. Lins emphasizes that “the time has come for the European Commission to strongly support the sector through non-discriminatory (= applicable to all countries – ed.) activities for new markets, as well as market intervention at EU level. Every effort should also be made to contain and eradicate the current swine fever outbreak.”