Agriculture: a priority for the Commission to be confirmed via a strategic dialogue

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For the first time in her mandate – and on the occasion of her last State of the Union speech – the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, mentioned farmers 5 times and launched a significant message on agriculture. Without turning her back on the Green Deal, the Commission President underlined her conviction that “we must make it our duty, now and in the future, to secure our livelihoods within and in harmony with nature”.
“Today I would like to pay tribute to our farmers and thank them for ensuring our food supply day after day”, she stressed. “Guaranteeing healthy food: this duty of agriculture is the foundation of our agricultural policy here in Europe. We are also committed to guaranteeing the independence of our food supply”.

A strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture

For her, “these are the guarantees offered by our farmers. This cannot be taken for granted, because our farmers are subject to the growing impact on their work and their incomes of Russian aggression against Ukraine, climate change, with the droughts, fires and floods it is causing, but also new obligations”.
So “we have to take them into account. Many are already committed to more sustainable agriculture. We need to rise to these new challenges alongside farmers. That’s the only way we can guarantee our food security for the future too. We need more dialogue and less polarisation. That’s why we want to launch a strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture in the EU”.

It should be noted that there was no mention of the Farm to Fork strategy, neither of the trade situation with Ukraine. Most of her speech focused on the competitiveness of the European economy, with some strong announcements, notably the launch of an anti-dumping procedure concerning electric vehicles from China.

The President also stressed the importance of ensuring the EU’s strategic autonomy and securing energy supplies, particularly through renewable energies. Mrs von der Leyen mentioned her intention to inaugurate the first container ship powered by Methanol produced from renewable solar energy.