Lithuania votes against EU ministers' position on agriculture funding

Lithuania voted on Monday against EU ministers' position on agriculture funding after 2020 as they failed to agree on leveling out differences in direct payments between member states.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Rolandas Taraškevičius told BNS by phone from Brussels that the Agriculture and Fisheries Council's compromise conclusions reached on Monday did not reflect Lithuania's position on a full convergence of direct payments.

Other countries that did not approve of the conclusions were Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Slovakia.

According to Taraškevičius, many agriculture ministers proposed to postpone discussions on direct payments until the start of negotiations on the bloc's multiannual budget, but Lithuania wanted the council to state its explicit support on this issue in the position adopted on Monday.

"The idea was that the Council of the EU recognizes that member states differ in their views on the convergence (of direct payments) and that this issue will need to be readdressed when discussing the multiannual financial perspective. We could not agree with such a paragraph and that was why we did not approve," the official said.

The Council's joint conclusion was the last opportunity for EU agriculture ministers to influence the European Commission's proposal on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. The EU's executive body is expected to table legislative proposals in late May.

Source: BNS
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