Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the unprecedented crisis Europe is facing, Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski addresses all EU agriculture ministers:
I am writing to you in relation to the current pandemic and the impact it has on all our daily life. Of course, our over-riding priority is the human health and that everybody remains safe. To that end, I welcome all the measures currently underway in all EU Member States and our coordinated efforts at EU level to slow down an even further spread of the virus.
It is clear that there will be serious economic impacts. President von der Leyen announced last Friday a very significant economic package to respond to the crisis. The lockdown in many Member States will cause extreme hardship in many sectors, including the agri-food sector.
We will need to continue to work together and coordinate our actions in order to support the efforts of our farmers, agri-food industry and retailers to continue to secure the food supply chain. Flexibility and responsiveness will continue to guide us in the coming weeks.
The Commission is now preparing the legal steps to allow Member States to extend by one month the deadline for farmers to submit their CAP’s application. I have asked my services to be ready to support you in case any other flexibility in relation to CAP’s implementation would be needed.
The next Council meeting organised by the Presidency will provide us with the opportunity to update each other on the current needs in each Member State. Decisive and effective actions are needed to swiftly respond to this crisis and to alleviate the impact on our farmers and the entire food chain.
You can count on my support.
EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
- 19 mars 2020
- Generaldirektoratet för jordbruk och landsbygdsutveckling