V4, Croatian farm ministers approve declaration on CAP

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The agriculture ministers of the Visegrád Group - Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia - as well as Croatia approved a joint declaration on the future of the European Unionʼs common agriculture policy (CAP) at a meeting in Budapest on Thursday.

The ministers agreed that a strong CAP is necessary and support maintaining the two-pillar policy, Hungarian Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas was cited as saying after the meeting by national news agency MTI.

CAPʼs first pillar includes direct payments and market measures, while the second pillar concerns rural development policy. The ministers also agreed that the EU needs a CAP that is farmer-friendly, simple, allows efficient access to funding, and ensures the sectorʼs competitiveness on the global market, Fazekas said.

The farm ministers of Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia also participated at the meeting in Budapest, as did European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan.

The minister from Bulgaria did not sign the declaration because the country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. Romaniaʼs farm minister did not sign either as the country will next take the presidency.

Fazekas noted that the occasion marked the first time a group of member states had addressed CAP proposals made by the European Commission last November.

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