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“We need to lower the administrative burden on our farmers in order to make the receipt of aid to them predictable, “said Minister Georgi Tahov during a joint briefing with the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski at the Council of Ministers. Minister of Agriculture and Food, Georgi Tahov, has briefed the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, on the state of agriculture in Bulgaria, highlighting that the problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Russia's war against Ukraine and its economic impact have severely affected farmers in this country and in the EU.

Minister Tahov noted that it is necessary for the direct payments to Bulgarian farmers to be aligned with the level in other EU countries. He added that the administrative burden on farmers should be eased to ensure predictability. Tahov emphasized that it is necessary for the European Commission (EC) to make more timely decisions for securing payments to farmers.

“One of the difficulties for agricultural producers is the timely implementation of projects under the Rural Development Program 2014-2020. Bulgaria’s request is for the EC to allow the deadline for settling payments under projects from the old program to be extended by 12 months”, clarified the minister. Tahov added that the European Green Deal standards should be imposed on both EU Member States and non-EU countries that use the European market. "We are well aware that this will be a long-term discussion, but we really hope it will start here in Sofia," the Minister said.

“Bulgaria is important in terms of agriculture and ensuring food security throughout the European Union”, said European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski. “In our talks with the President, Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister we have discussed that bigger budget will be needed for the common agricultural policy after Ukraine joins the EU because the present one would be insufficient”. He specified that 0.4% of GDP is allocated for agriculture in the EU and noted that this funding will probably have to increase in the future.

For his part, Minister Tahov again noted that the volume of compensatory payments with national funding should not be taken into account.  He emphasized that it is necessary to bring the levels of direct payments and assistance to Bulgarian farmers equal to those of the other EU member states.

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