Polish farmers join Eastern European peers in Brussels protest
Farmers from Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries have held a demonstration in Brussels demanding bigger support from the EU as liberalised trade with Ukraine has undercut their operations.
Farmers from Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia gathered at the Robert Schuman Roundabout in the European District of Brussels to complain about their dire situation caused by the inflow of Ukrainian produce.
"European farming, and Polish farming in particular, is based on family farms," Wiktor Szmulewicz, head of Poland's KRIR, a national organisation associating farmer groups, told PAP. "We are no match in competition with Ukrainian economic behemoths, because we'll be uncompetitive.
"We need to start discussions on a new Common Agricultural Policy," he added, referring to the EU's existing multi-billion euro programme of agriculture subsidies, which the farmers apparently now consider inadequate.
Szmulewicz also said the protesters were scheduled to meet with Janusz Wojciechowski, the EU agriculture commissioner, later on Tuesday. He added Wojciechowski would be handed postulates for higher EU compensation in the face of Ukrainian competition.