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European farmers spray police with liquid manure during another violent clash in Brussels

European farmers spray police with liquid manure in Brussels during another violent clash

European farmers sprayed police with liquid manure and hurled eggs and flares during another wave of clashes in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, February 26, 2024. The confrontation occurred as the European Union’s agriculture ministers convened to address the agricultural sector’s grievances, including red tape and competition from low-cost imports.

Central to the farmers’ grievances are the challenges posed by bureaucratic hurdles and the threat of cheap imports from countries not bound by the EU’s stringent agricultural standards. These issues have culminated in significant economic pressures on local farmers, who argue that current policies undermine their competitiveness and sustainability.

The demonstration in Brussels is a potent symbol of the agricultural community’s demand for fairer policies that support local farmers against the backdrop of global market dynamics.

In response to the escalating tensions and as part of its broader environmental and sustainability objectives, the EU has made some concessions, particularly concerning its flagship Green Deal environmental policies. The EU has moderated certain aspects of these policies, notably removing a goal to cut farming emissions from its 2040 climate roadmap.

However, farmers argue that these concessions are insufficient. They are calling for more comprehensive reforms that address the core of their concerns, including the impact of free trade agreements and deregulation on their livelihoods. Farmers demand a restructuring of the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), aiming for a system that ensures fair revenue, protects against undercutting by cheap imports, and recognizes the essential role of agriculture in society.

The protest in Brussels is not an isolated incident but part of a broader wave of unrest among farmers across Europe. In recent weeks, similar demonstrations have taken place in various European countries, each echoing the call for reforms and support for the agricultural sector.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron faced boos and whistles from farmers at the Paris Agricultural Fair on Saturday, while in Spain, farmers have taken to the streets to demand the EU loosen regulations and reconsider changes to its CAP. Polish farmers, meanwhile, have protested against cheap imports from non-EU countries like Ukraine, which they argue undermine their products’ competitiveness.

These protests across Europe highlight a growing consensus among farmers on the need for significant policy reforms. The agricultural community is urging the EU and national governments to rethink agricultural policies in a way that supports the sector’s sustainability, ensures fair competition, and recognizes farmers’ crucial role in feeding the population.

Without meaningful action and dialogue between policymakers and the farming community, the discontent among Europe’s farmers is likely to continue, potentially affecting agricultural production and food security in the region.

References:

1 Protesting farmers spray Brussels police with liquid manure near EU’s base in a new display of power – AP – February 26, 2024

2 Farmers protest across Europe, press ministers to act – Reuters – February 26, 2024

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One Comment

  1. Farmers worldwide need to fight government rules that in any way hinder their ability to provide food. Elites don’t get to decide what or how much the citizens get to eat while they sit at their steak and lobster party dinners. We have the God given right to food, water and the freedom to better our lives. If government is the problem then we are required to get rid of said problem. Insist on honest elections and vote for a government that is for the people by the people. No more totalitarian elitists, no more global government and no more WEF evil.

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