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Members of European Parliament on a visit to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food

Ljubljana, 23 September 2016 – At the Ministry, Minister Dejan Židan and his colleagues received a delegation of the Members of European Parliament who are the members of the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI). To the Members of the European Parliament, headed by Mr Eric Andrieu, the Minister presented the most important topics of the Slovenian agriculture and food industry, among which he pinpointed the priority tasks in agriculture, perspectives of the new programming period after 2020, Great Britain’s exit from the EU and the World Bee Day project. In their discussion they also touched upon the issue of developments concerning the protection of Teran wine, which is an example of a non-transparent operation where the rules do not apply equally to everybody and the EU fails to protect its own legal order and a small country.

At today’s meeting,Minister Židan presented to the members of European Parliament the global initiative for the United Nations to proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day. The members of European Parliament welcomed the initiative and the need for protection of bees to provide food security and protection of the environment. Minister Židan then presented the priority tasks of Slovenian agriculture, in connection with which he highlighted the imbalance in the food supply chain, which is a pressing problem of the EU’s agriculture. “Over the recent years we have witnessed a drop in milk buying-in prices while the consumer has not detected the drop in the product price; this tells us that something is wrong and that somebody else is profiting at the farmer’s expense, which is not fair,” said the Minister. He added that only by a joint European approach can we win together to the benefit of farmers.

 

Regarding preparation for the new programming period after 2020 the Minister presented the Slovenia’s considerations where he stressed the importance of agricultural policy and, in this regard, strong support for areas with difficult farming conditions. He also highlighted the important role of people’s attitude towards the environment, adjusting to climate changes, and the measures for young farmers. Minister Židan drew attention to the recent referendum in Great Britain and the decision to exit from the EU. According to the Minister this opened many questions regarding the way the EU works, and he mentioned the lack of awareness of the advantages of EU membership. In particular, he pinpointed the example in Slovenia, where it is evident that the EU does not function as it should, neither in connection with the observance of the legislation nor in the protection of small countries. “Slovenia protected Teran in 2000 and Croatia violates this protection; a Croatian wine labelled Teran is still traded in shops in Croatia despite the fact that it was not produced on the Karst Plateau as required by EU legislation. We expect that Teran, as a part of the EU legal order, will be protected further and that the uniform protection will be implemented in all 28 EU Member States,” stressed Minister Židan noting that the support of the members of the Parliament meant a lot to him. The members of the Parliament expressed their support in this regard and highlighted the necessity to observe the EU legislation if we want the citizens to further believe in the values and objectives of the EU.

 

The purpose of the AGRI Committee’s delegation’s visit to Slovenia is to become acquainted with the situation of Slovenian agriculture and development of rural areas. At the invitation of the Slovenian Member of the European Parliament, Franc Bogovič, the Members of the European Parliament are on their visit to Slovenia, where they are becoming acquainted with the operation of individual agricultural industries, drawing of the European cohesion funds for development and they also visit attractions and sights of Slovenia. Within their visit, this morning they were received by the Slovenian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Dejan Židan.

 

Audio recording of the Press Conference

 

Minister Dejan Židan

Member of the European Parliament Eric Andrieu

Member of the European Parliament Franc Bogovič

 

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