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Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters CD&V has called for a one-year postponement of the new European agricultural policy to 1 January 2015 during the biannual agricultural fair AgriFlanders in Ghent today. He does not believe the due date of 1 January 2014 is achievable, saying: “Debate on the reform of the European agricultural policy is far from finalised. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Finnish agriculture is not the same as Greek agriculture, and Flemish agriculture is worlds apart from Polish agriculture. Further alignment of measures with climate and agricultural activities within each member state is essential.” A one-year extension should give Flemish farmers and horticultural growers enough time to prepare for the changes. “Our farmers and growers are formidable entrepreneurs and we can therefore expect the best from them, but that does not mean they should implement reforms which took policymakers years to discuss in a matter of few weeks or months. I believe that’s pushing it too far.” He also believes the current topics that have been discussed are insufficient, saying: “The current proposals fail to address the real problems thoroughly. They do not make allowance for agriculture in an urbanised environment and do not provide any resources to do so. Moreover the proposals for a more sustainable agriculture are too rigid and could well become empty words.”
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