Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-290"

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"( ) I appreciate the initiative and the enormous amount of work carried out by the rapporteur. The report openly highlights the discriminatory effect of the common agricultural policy on agriculture in the new Member States. However, in the interest of ensuring the passage of this report, its wording has been drafted to suggest something bordering on an idyll. The argument that both old and new Member States should be happy, since the new Member States are receiving more funding and the old ones have gained a major share of their food market in return, simply does not hold water. The fact that part of the European Union is consistently declining while the rest is expanding contravenes not only the letter but also the spirit of the common agricultural policy and principles of the European Union. During the accession process the agriculture sectors of the EU-15 were growing, while in the new Member States agricultural output had declined by one-third. It is not true that this was due to the failure of farmers in the new Member States to adapt to the market. It was due to political reasons. The worst thing is that this decimation of agriculture in the new Member States has in fact been imbedded forever in the form of the so-called historical reference points that have been used to set support parameters for the new Member States in a discriminatory fashion. The conflicting effects of the common agricultural policy on the old and new Member States have also persisted following Slovakia’s EU accession. This can be seen in the effects of the most recently adopted commodity reforms, and is also demonstrated by the dramatic increase in food imports to the new Member States. Last year Slovakia alone saw a 60% increase in food imports compared to the year before. Moreover, the 2020 scenario projects that the new Member States will remain a basis of raw materials for the production of feed for animal husbandry and for biomass in the energy sector. The added value under this scenario will be created in the EU-15. The message of the report is therefore clear. Commissioner, I wish you would see it in that light, not in the way you demonstrated in your statement. It is necessary to reform internal competition between the old and new Member States within the Union in order to yield genuinely common and uniform procedures for all EU states and an increase in the global competitiveness of the EU agricultural sector. We should primarily focus on lower costs, higher quality and effective marketing."@en1

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