EU agricultural funding: Klöckner rejects allegations of blockade

Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) reacted angrily to the Greens' accusation of blocking an ecological orientation of European agricultural support.

The Greens "must have missed some things", Klöckner told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Monday editions). "Because we are promoting more environmental protection, more climate protection and more animal welfare standards - in practice, not just in terms of theoretical maximum requirements."

In future, funding from Brussels would be tied to “conditions for more sustainability”. The concept of the German presidency goes beyond the proposal of the EU Commission. However, securing income and earnings are not a minor matter, added Klöckner. "Anyone who wants to maintain regional agricultural production must also honor higher requirements." The Greens, according to the minister's charge, would fail to recognize this and thus endanger the German and European agricultural location. Before the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers in the coming week, the Greens had spoken out in favor of radically restructuring support for European agriculture. In a position paper reported by the newspapers of the Funke media group, party leader Robert Habeck and the parliamentary group chairman Anton Hofreiter propose the model of a so-called public welfare premium, which should replace the previous area payments. The system change should take place in several stages and be completed in 2031. “It is high time to fundamentally reform the European agricultural system,” Habeck told the Funke newspapers. "In concrete terms, this means making environmental, climate and animal protection an integral part of the funding." The agricultural budget, the largest item in the EU budget to date, offers "a powerful lever to invest billions of taxes in sustainability". Hofreiter accused Klöckner of blocking a reform of the common agricultural policy. This is gambling away the future of many farmers.