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Political Pressure Rises On Union Amid Farmers' Protests


European Commissioners meet today to sign off on proposals regarding targets for emission reductions by 2040. While in the meeting of Commissioners' chiefs of staff on 5 Feb the only hold-out on approving the targests was Hungary, the Commission has already removed language related to the reduction in agricultural sector emissions amid mass protestsfrom farm workers across the bloc. The FT reportsthat the road map on cutting emissions "no longer includes a reference to a 30 per cent reduction target in methane, nitrogen and other gases linked to farming,"

  • Protests have taken place in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, and Portugal in recent weeks/days. Today, the protests appear to have spread to Spain as well. El Pais reportsthat "The farmers' protests began this Tuesday morning with roadblocks in several provinces."
  • With the European Parliament election approaching in early June, politicians on all sides of the EU will be wary of the impact of the protests. Most notably the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) group, from which Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hails, will be wary of the potential impact.
  • The agricultural sector has historically largely backed parties of the centre-right. However, parties of the soft eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) or right-wing nationalist Identity and Democracy (ID) groups could draw in significant support from the relatively small, but vocal and politically-influential, sector.

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