Commissioner-designate Wojciechowski highlighted what he called the “shocking information” on the decline in the number of European farms in his opening statement during his hearing in front of the AGRI Committee in the European Parliament earlier this week.
I presented the shocking information – shocking at least for some audiences – that during one decade, from 2005 to 2015, we lost four million farms in the European Union. The number of farms was almost 15 million, and after a decade there were fewer than 11 million farms. If we lose four million per decade, it is 400 000 per year.
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The European Council meets this Thursday in the hope that it will agree on a package of measures that will satisfy the UK’s demand for a renegotiation of its relationship with the EU. The details of the package and the main stumbling blocks are spelled out in the Council President Donald Tusk’s invitation to leaders to the Council meeting. The mood music leading up to the summit meeting is constantly changing. Whether this is a careful choreography to persuade voters back home that what will be achieved is a significant deal, or whether the continuing objections will derail a deal will be clearer by the end of this week.… Read the rest