European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said that the European Commission is considering granting financial support to help Romanian farmers affected by African swine fever.Talking about the African swine fever, we both announced our perspectives and impressions of how this disease has evolved. In terms of detecting the disease, the fact that we detected over 800 outbreaks shows that the detection system in Romania is working well. In order to be able to eradicate in a timely manner and to maintain the current situation, we have discussed what other financial, sanitary and other similar measures can be taken to maintain the situation at a good point. Considering that over 75pct of pigs at household level are in Romania, these are measures that are very difficult to implement and take. And, of course, besides control, supervision and intervention, we also think of financial measures to help farmers in these situations, so as to go over these moments. The Government has recently notified the European Commission to be able to implement biosecurity measures as easily as possible so that disease eradication is as early as possible. When we get more details in the next few days, we will be able to look very carefully at Romania's request and we will know exactly what measures we can take to help Romania, Phil Hogan said in joint statements held on Thursday at Victoria Palace, together with Prime Minister Viorica Dancila.
The European official said that the 2-million euro amount has already been allocated from the Commission for the "sanitary veterinary aid part."
We are now looking at the rural development program to see how we can help farmers (...) in this case, said Hogan.
He added that he also discussed with the Romanian prime minister about the cap for the direct redistribution payments and direct payments for small and medium-sized farms.
We welcome any positive idea that can come to help us keep small and medium-sized farmers in business. Through the EIB and other European investment funds, we will try to help in this regard. Later we will give you some details about this financial aid scheme, Hogan said.
The European Commissioner also thanked the Bucharest Government for its support for the Common Agricultural Policy and in particular for the financing side.
The European official has highlighted the financial impact of Britain's exit from the EU and the outlook for the future EU budget in this context.
For Romania and the traditional policies it adheres to, we have succeeded, at a very reasonable level, in maintaining the level of funding (...) especially for the first pillar for Romania. You have rightly noticed the 16pct reduction [of the rural development budget] that can still be negotiated in the next few months with the other prime ministers. Commissioner Cretu has done a very good job in terms of raising the funds for Romania on the other side, of the cohesion, Hogan said.
He said that he also discussed with the Romanian prime minister about the "food chain and unfair practices, which are now under debate in the European Parliament".