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Minister Schmidt: Good day for European and German agriculture

Staff Writer | August 22, 2016
The EU Commission presented a second support package for agriculture in Brussels on July 18. German Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt welcomed the step as a good day for European and German agriculture.
Christian Schmidt
Europe   Germany must support milk producers
"Europe, the Federal Government and the Laender are sharing responsibility as we have a common goal: to safeguard rural farming. We therefore have a responsibility to help in crisis situations. An uncontrolled structural break would be very costly," said Schmidt.

Overall there are round €500 million available for the second package. Of this sum, 150 million are earmarked for EU-wide measures to reduce production. 350 million are intended as direct funds for the Member States.

This means that Germany will receive around €58 million as direct liquidity assistance.

Schmidt said: "We have thus achieved another element of the €100 million plus X support package for German farmers that I announced".

The second EU support package stems from a joint French, Polish and German initiative. Both pillars – the support for reducing production and the direct aid – were elements of the joint Warsaw Declaration. According to Schmidt, this shows "how important and successful joint action in the EU is."

He said the road map he had announced remained in place: He went on to say that, with the money from Brussels in his backpack, he would speak with Federal Finance Minister Schäuble in the next few days about additional national funds.

It is Federal Minister Schmidt's aim to combine the EU funds with German federal funds to make one large package. In his view, the Laender are now called upon to play their part and support agriculture with appropriate measures.

"I believe it is a clear signal to milk producers that the EU aid in the milk sector will now be coupled with discipline in respect of the volume of milk produced.

"This means that it will be possible to break the vicious circle currently evident in milk production as we need less milk for better prices. State support must play a part in the solution, and support the adjustment of milk production to demand.