Friday 14 May 2021
Home International Berlin and the federal states are still divided between German and European agriculture

Berlin and the federal states are still divided between German and European agriculture

At the last minute, German LNV minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) took her proposals for modernizing agriculture and livestock off the cabinet agenda at the last minute. There are still major differences of opinion with coalition partner SPD, with the sixteen federal states and with the (green) opposition.

Klöckner has postponed its proposals a week ahead, but is already taking into account that the entire agricultural file will be postponed until after the Bundestag elections in September. Last week, the LNV ministers of the sixteen German federal states did not agree on the scope of the bills, and on how to finance them.

Another factor that plays a role in this is that Klöckner is preparing laws for the introduction in Germany of the new European CAP agricultural policy, including the Green Deal's environmental measures. The SPD thinks that Klöckner is taking this far too freely, and the Greens think that they are doing far too little with it.

An additional problem is that the ministries, the federal states and the farmers do not agree on who should pay the final bill for more environmental protection in agriculture: the farmer, the dairy cooperative, the supermarkets, the customer or the taxpayer.

The CDU state ministers agree with their party colleague Klöckner, but want Berlin to hand over more powers to them. The SPD ministers want more animal welfare and less chemicals in German agricultural policy. The Greens believe that Klöckner should first wait and see what will actually be the new CAP policy after the EU trialogue.

The conversion of German stables to meet animal welfare requirements would cost 2.9 billion euros in 2025 and 4.3 billion euros by 2030. This is shown by a feasibility study commissioned by Minister Klöckner for the so-called Borchert Commission. The results of the study have been available since the beginning of March.

Initially, an extra surcharge for 'environmentally polluting food production' (including meat tax) seemed obvious. In that case, the consumer would pay the farmer through the supermarket and the supplier, but there are many snags and administration involved.

NOW is envisaged higher VAT on environmentally unfriendly food (the customer pays) or a general tax increase (iedere citizen pays, regardless of purchasing and eating behavior). In both cases, the government is in between.

Several hundred farmers from all over Germany demonstrated in Berlin yesterday against the upcoming animal welfare law and the insect protection plan. On Friday, the Federal Council (Senate - ed.) Will discuss the bill of the grand coalition. On Friday, the 16 states will also meet again in a last-ditch attempt to reach an agreement.

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