Polish commissioner nominee likely to be heard again

The hearing of the Polish candidate for commissioner for agriculture in the European Parliament Janusz Wojciechowski, lasted for over two hours while he answered questions from MEPs from the committee on agriculture and the environment.

On the basis of this hearing, MEPs were to assess whether the Pole has the necessary competence to take the seat.

Some MEPs complained about statements from the candidate being too general. Janusz Wojciechowski replied that he would be able to talk about the details once he was approved.

"In a situation where I am a candidate, when the answer period is quite short, the answers cannot be more precise,” he said.

Nevertheless, several MEPs announced that they would demand additional clarifications and an additional hearing.

It will reportedly take place on October 14 or October 15. Janusz Wojciechowski had already declared that he was ready to appear again before the parliamentary committee.

A long-term strategy for EU agriculture

Poland's candidate for the EU agriculture commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, said at his hearing at the European Parliament on Tuesday that the European Union needed a long-term strategy for agriculture.

Mr Wojciechowski said the EU had a long-term vision for the climate, but lacked a similar one for agriculture.

The candidate noted that the number of farmers in the EU had been going down year after year and argued the trend should be stopped.

Mr Wojciechowski called the EU's Common Agricultural Policy “a story of success”, but added it still has its weaknesses that call for a reform.

Support for small farms

Janusz Wojciechowski also declared his support for ecological and environmentally-friendly farms, as well as for the improvement of animals’ well being.

“My approach is to support biodiverse and small farms which focus on producing animal fodder, instead of importing it from the US or South America,” Mr Wojciechowski said.

He also backed the idea of increasing the share for small farm owners in the funds for development of rural areas coming from the 2nd pillar of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

Referring to the consequences of signing trade agreements between the EU and other states and organisations, Janusz Wojciechowski pointed out that farmers cannot be victims of such deals.

“If that’s going to happen, we will have to help them, for example, by making economic interventions,” he said.

“This issue has been concerning many farmers, and I, as the commissioner, will monitor the situation carefully,” Mr Wojciechowski stated, adding that in 2020, he will prepare an evaluation of the impact of such agreements on EU agriculture.