PASCAL GUYOT / AFP
Marc Fesneau, Minister of Agriculture, on February 1 during a cellar visit in Cournonse in Occitanie to announce support measures for the wine sector.
POLITICS – It’s all about “tempo”… ization. After the warning from the president of the FNSEA, worried about seeing the situation stagnate after the latest announcements from the executive to calm angry farmers, the government is distilling the elements to demonstrate its action and ensure that commitments will be kept here at the Salon de l’Agriculture.
“No ministerial meeting” neither “tracking point” with the Minister of Agriculture or the Prime Minister, “ we are not in the right tempo”declared Sunday on BFMTV Arnaud Rousseau. “We showed that we could be united and very reactive in mobilization. If the government pushes us around a little too much, we won’t put up with it.”abounded this Monday on the same channel Jérôme Bayle, cattle breeder in Haute-Garonne and one of the initiators of the first dam on the A64 in Carbonne.
Message received five out of five rue de Varenne, where the Hôtel de Matignon and the Ministry of Agriculture are located. On the morning of Monday, the Prime Minister’s services confirmed the holding of a meeting on Tuesday February 13 with the FNSEA and the Young Farmers (JA), the majority alliance of the profession, in the presence of Marc Fesneau and his minister delegate Agnès Pannier-Runacher. The occasion of “take stock, work on very concrete measures” according to Arnaud Rousseau on Tuesday morning, a few hours before the meeting but who nevertheless reiterates his warning: “We want to see what is changing on our farms (…) If within 10 days there were not to be this in-depth work, this change in software, we would be ready to take action again”he insisted on TF1.
Monday morning, after initial statements from the agricultural union in the same tone, the press was invited at the last minute to a “progress update on the deployment of government announcements”. Objective: to show that yes, the government remains mobilized and the projects are moving forward.
“The tempo set by the Prime Minister is to move as quickly as possible”
Questioned by the press about Arnaud Rousseau’s statements, Marc Fesneau’s cabinet evacuated. “ In any case, the tempo set by the Prime Minister is to move as quickly as possible,” he defends himself. “We have a number of things that already came to fruition last week, others that will come to fruition this week and others that will come to fruition next week,” we assure the same source.
The evidence of activity – some measures are already published in the Official Journal – is carefully detailed: “On Friday February 2, the Minister of Agriculture gave details of the economic and structural support plan for the wine industry. On Monday 5, the measures announced for compensation for the impacts of epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD) on cattle breeding were deployed. We also deployed during the weekend of February 1 the emergency fund announced by the Prime Minister for Brittany and the farmers impacted by the various storms. On Friday 9, there was the launch of the request for a safeguard clause procedure on thiacloprid. we say at the ministry.
But what about “immediate answers on remuneration”, demanded by the FNSEA and the JA at the end of January? Of “standards reduction project”? Immediate payment of CAP aid? Of ” absolute respect” Egalim laws? “In parallel with these projects on which we are delivering, there are many projects on which we are making progress”assures the Ministry of Agriculture.
Marc Fesneau promises “other announcements”
Example of the Egalim law where 124 procedures have been launched at this stage, it is argued. These are nevertheless requests for regularization from companies, without fines at this stage. On simplification, the cabinet refers to prefectural meetings and calls for patience. Once the feedback has been analyzed, “a consultation will be launched between this week and the beginning of next week” with the ministries concerned.
Ditto on the level of the sovereignty of breeding about which “ As I speak to you, there has not been the start of a meeting or even a phone call” lamented Arnaud Rousseau on Sunday. “An exchange must take place” and the consultation will be relaunched in “a logic of reinforcement” of the plan presented by Bruno Le Maire and Marc Fesneau in October 2023, Agriculture was assured on Monday.
Other meetings are also in the pipeline, including one on Monday on the Écophyto plan put in place ” break “. “There will be other announcements between now and the Agricultural Show” Marc Fesneau assured this Monday from the Wine Expo Porte de Versailles show in Paris. And as before each Agricultural Show, the Rural Coordination union will be received on Wednesday February 14 by Emmanuel Macron, announced its president Véronique Le Floc’h. For the FNSEA and the Young Farmers, we will have to wait ” next week “announced the Elysée.
A bill in June
There still remains the big part of the agricultural bill, in preparation for several months but which must ultimately include many more provisions than expected. “We don’t start from nothing” but it is necessary to consult again, draw up the explanatory statement, have it examined by the Council of State and then have it included on the agenda in Parliament, notes the office of the Minister of Agriculture. The goal is for it to pass both chambers by June and we can “obtain a joint joint commission within this horizon”indicated Marc Fesneau during a hearing at the National Assembly on Wednesday February 7.
Finally, while some farmers questioned the European system, the government is also trying to play the role. “We are ensuring that France is a force for proposals on simplification”, assures the Ministry of Agriculture, which is counting on a council of European ministers at the end of February to make itself heard. The end of the month is definitely busy.
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