EU Agriculture Commissioner designate, Phil Hogan, has committed himself to preserving the “continuity and further development of the farming sector and rural areas” once he takes up his new role in November.
While acknowledging that his appointment still has to be given European Parliament approval, Commissioner designate Hogan commented: “I am delighted to have been asked to take responsibility for the agriculture and rural development portfolio in the next Commission. Agriculture is of major strategic importance in Europe and has, since the foundation of the EU, been a top-level policy priority with more than a third of the EU budget, or close to 60bn, supporting the sector each year. Agriculture and the agri-foods industry account for 6% of the EU’s GDP, comprise 15m businesses and provide 46m jobs.
“Farming faces many challenges, not least in terms of ensuring food security, preserving the environment and protecting the countryside, but also dealing with issues such as climate change and the need to provide a fair and stable standard of living for farmers. We need to preserve the continuity and further development of the farming sector and rural areas.”