“There are several reasons. First, convergence in the EU has slowed down too much. Until now, it was more normal to wait for the equation for many years, but after the war in Ukraine, we find that the countries on the eastern side of the EU suffer much more consequences than the western countries,” he said.
The minister continued that countries on the eastern flank of Europe receive lower subsidies, which undermines EU solidarity.
“With this conscious decision (of the government), we have the official position of the state, with which we send a clear message to the European institutions about the needs of Bulgarian agricultural producers , ” commented Getsev.
He expressed hope that EU solidarity will prevail and Bulgaria expects support “even now, this year”.
Farmers from EU member states that joined the Union after 2004 receive less than the EU average in subsidies. Agricultural subsidies in Bulgaria have been steadily increasing, but are still lower than those received by older member states.
One of the main economic forms of European solidarity is direct subsidies for agricultural producers in the Union. From 2023 to 2027, Bulgarian farmers will receive €4.4 billion in direct land subsidies and another €3.6 billion in investments. Traditionally, the largest subsidies have gone to grain producers who own the most land.
Farmers and their associations in the EU’s newest member states have been pushing for years for their subsidies to approach western European levels.