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Von der Leyen: "Strategic dialogue on agriculture"

The EU president praises the primary sector's efforts for sustainability across the old continent

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the European Union will launch a “strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture”. He did so in his last annual State of the Union speech before the 2024 European elections. During the speech, held during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, von der Leyen expressed his gratitude to the farmers who produce food every day healthy. V on der Leyen noted that this is not an “easy task”, in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, climate change and “new obligations” for farmers: all factors that “are having an increasing impact on jobs and farmers' incomes, and we must keep this in mind."

The president of the European Commission added that many farmers "are already working hard towards a more sustainable form of agriculture". Therefore, he said, “we must work together with the people who work in the agricultural sector to face these new challenges and this is the only way we can guarantee a food supply for the future for all of us”. Furthermore, he warned v on der Leyen , “we need more dialogue" and "less polarization".

“We would like to start a strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture. I am and remain convinced - says the President of the European Commission - that agriculture and the protection of our natural world can go hand in hand, we need both". No further details were provided on the form this "strategic dialogue" will take, however v on der Leyen referred to Europe's "unique biological diversity", which includes around 6,500 species present on the old continent alone. He then recalled that European forests are "irreplaceable as a source of goods and services", which "absorb carbon dioxide (Co2), provide wood and other products. They generate fertile soil, filter the air and water; biodiversity and ecosystem services are absolutely essential for all of us in Europe."

“The loss of nature not only destroys the foundations of our lives, but also the feeling of what people consider home. This is something we need to protect." "At the same time, we need to make sure that food security is in harmony with nature. This remains an essential task,” said von der Leyen , finally announcing a European wind energy package to work with industry and member states to speed up permitting, focus on skills and access to finance.

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EFA News - European Food Agency