Ursula von der Leyen said the European bloc must overcome “polarization” caused by agricultural disputes.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed her hope that something new would happen “Strategic Dialogue” It will defuse the ongoing farmers' protests over environmental regulations.
“We all have the same feeling that things need to get better.” Von der Leyen said Thursday during a meeting with a group of community and business leaders in Brussels. She expressed her regret for what she described as him “Increasing division and polarization when it comes to agriculture-related topics.”
“We must overcome this polarization through dialogue.” She said, stressing the need to find “A new way forward and shared and lasting solutions” for European agriculture.
“I hope you will build confidence to value each other’s views and find common solutions for the future of agriculture in Europe. This dialogue aims to find a new consensus on the issues we all face.” Von der Leyen told the audience:
Farmers in Germany have occupied city streets with their tractors since last month, demanding that Chancellor Olaf Scholz reverse the proposed elimination of diesel subsidies worth up to 3,000 euros ($3,260) a year.
The German government defended the move as an environmental protection measure. But farmers insist the plan will put them out of work and threaten their livelihoods.
Similar protests are now taking place in France, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, where farmer issues are expected to overshadow European Parliament elections later this year.
The French government canceled plans to cut diesel subsidies for farmers on Friday after demonstrators used tractors and other farm machinery to block a major highway outside Paris and a road linking France to Spain.
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