We will defend our sovereignty against Brussels, Hungary insists that it can continue to decide for itself what kind of technology to grow plants on its own territory, according to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture (AM), Minister of Agriculture István Nagy said in Brussels.
Minister of Agriculture István Nagy delivers a speech at the renewal congress of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Association at Hungexpo on November 18, 2023. MTI/Koszticsák Solid
At the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on November 20, the agriculture ministers discussed the commission’s proposal on new gene management techniques, which would make it mandatory for member states to use plants produced with such technologies
– they wrote in the statement.
According to the minister, the right of self-determination should be ensured for the member states, so that they can decide for themselves what kind of technology they want to grow plants on their territory. Hungary defends its sovereignty in this matter as well, he added.
According to the announcement, István Nagy explained that, according to the Hungarian Parliament’s point of view, the draft is against the principle of subsidiarity, so the member states must be clearly given the opportunity to make their own decisions on this matter. The European Commission’s proposal also needs improvement in terms of ensuring that organic farming can be clearly demarcated and separated from crops produced with new gene management techniques, the head of the ministry pointed out.
At the council meeting, at the request of France, the relaxation of the rules for non-productive areas that farmers must maintain on a certain percentage of their crop area by 2024 was also on the agenda, with which the majority of the agriculture ministers agreed.
István Nagy highlighted in the announcement of the AM that farmers have perhaps never faced as many challenges as today, which make production difficult to such an extent that they cause unprecedented financing difficulties for them. In this situation, farmers need relief in order to maintain production potential. The joint proposal submitted with the French leadership would facilitate this, as it would provide farmers with the opportunity to sow ecologically important second crops or nitrogen-fixing plants in non-productive areas without the use of pesticides. This solution would not significantly affect the achievement of the green objectives, but would greatly help to maintain the production potential of European economies.
At the meeting, regarding the long-term vision of the rural areas, István Nagy reminded that agriculture is of special importance not only for those living in the countryside, but for the whole society, as its role is indisputable in food security, employment and sustainability. It is also the basis of our natural and cultural heritage, the preservation of which is our joint responsibility. That is why it is important to strengthen the population retention power of the countryside, increase the competitiveness of rural economies, develop infrastructure, and reduce the difference between urban and rural living standards. In this way, it can be achieved that it is good to live in the countryside and that staying in the countryside offers young people a perspective, added the head of the ministry.
It was written in the announcement, as it became known in the past few days, that the government will address the danger of genetically modified foods in the framework of the national consultation on the protection of sovereignty, after Brussels opened the borders to Ukrainian genetically modified grain shipments.
The Hungarian people can once again express their opinion that they think we should open our market to genetically modified Ukrainian grain or that we should stand up for Hungarian farmers in every possible way and ensure that Hungarian agriculture is GMO-free
– can be read in the announcement of AM.