• Daria Pîrvu

    Rombel - Comunitatea Românilor din Belgia

    Q: May we hope/ask for a similar dialogue on small business and the post-lockdown effects on small family businesses? (to Dacian Cioloș)

  • Joey Bendedicte

    Q: Dear Mr Lins, The negotiations between AGRI and ENVI committees on the CAP Strategic Plan regulation are ceased by the ENVI committee. The AGRI committee now continues the negotiations on its own. How are you going to cooperate with mr. Canfin and the ENVI committee in the future to find a suitable compromise for all European farmers that has sufficient support in the whole environmental-minded European Parliament? (to Norbert Lins)

  • Q: Discussing on farming and rural areas.... why is not any representative of farmers who could have exposed te real problems and difficulties of EU farming? (to Dacian Cioloș)

  • Blaz Mertelj


    Q: Sorry, the name of the lady speaking? (to Hannes Lorenzen)

  • Q: You mentioned the use of prisoners in the agricultural sector - would this be in the context of paid work? Or an alternative form of renumeration? As the use of prisoners to perform free manual labor, without a choice in whether they participate or not, is worryingly reminiscent of slave labour. (to Ilaria Signoriello)

  • Răzvan Rusan

    Q: Given the rural environment's potential to be part of the solution to global warming, what policies or measures do you think should be taken in order to ensure that the whole digitalisation process and the process of modernising infrastructure pollutes as little as possible? (to Emilija Stojmenova-Duh)

  • Q: Will non-adherence to EU values and laws by both current and prospective EU member states be considered before implementation of these initiatives? (to Dacian Cioloș)

  • Marco Contiero


    Q: Is the Renew Group willing to protect rural areas, stimulating the creation of more and better jobs at farm level, stopping the current loss of European farms and the current push for a further industrialization and specialization of ever bigger farms? More specifically, should livestock factory farms keep receiving CAP subsidies, directly as well as via subsidies for feed production, or should the next CAP distinguish between extensive and intensive livestock systems setting a maximum load of animals per hectare beyond which subsidies should not be paid? (to Dacian Cioloș)

  • Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when moving to and living/working in a new country? What challenges should be addressed in the context young people moving within/from/to EU states, especially those who potentially will relocate to rural areas? (to Emilija Stojmenova-Duh)

  • Clive Peckham

    UtoPic (Mountain Co-Workers Association, Vercors, France

    Q: The COVID 19 crisis has demonstrated the value of public, private and community investment in digital infrastructure and services in keeping rural Europe socially and economically connected. Boosting Digital transformation has been mentioned by most speakers as an essential element of the strategy to enhance economic and social prosperity throughout rural Europe. How do we ensure that rural communities and stakeholders have the skills, and access to infrastructure and resources that will enable them to be in the driving seat of this transformation, to co-create sustainable and resilient ’Smart’ rural regions of the future, to be digital players and innovators alongside Metropolitan Europe. Do we need a European Rural Digital Innovation Hub? Can we create a network of small co-working, innovation and maker spaces to give us the visibility that on our own is difficult to achieve and enable us to work in partnership with urban Europe. (to Emilija Stojmenova-Duh)

  • Daria Pîrvu

    Rombel - Romanian Community in Belgium

    Q: We would like to know what are the initiatives to revalidate the work of day laborers on European farms and their rights to a fair wage and decent working conditions. The Covid crisis has shown us how important they are to the European economy, but it was also the time when Europe discovered, to our amazement, inhumane conditions and statistics show that the exploitation of unskilled workers brings greater benefits to human trafficking networks and beyond. (to Hannes Lorenzen)

  • Sean O' Farrell

    Cloncannon Biofarm

    Q: Food waste and Soil Organic Matter have a very important relationship in dealing with Climate Change, yet we a very slow to recycle the nutrients in unused food. Do you think the new CAP and other EU funding initiatives will do enough to close this loop and build the key resource of Soil? (to Andrew McDowell)

  • Juan

    Spanish Agrifood Coops

    Q: There is a huge agreement about the strategic role of agriculture in EU. But EU farmers will have to work to feed us with more rules (Green Deal, etc) but less money. The new MFF proposes a budget for CAP -9% of current period in constant prices (recovery plan included). How farmers can be rentable with more rules, less money and dealing with cheaper food imports? (to Ursula von der Leyen)

  • Q: As mentioned, the majority of farmers in the EU are made up of men. The majority of farmers are also 40 years of age or older. How will these programmes entice young city dwellers to migrate to the countryside? Or to pursue farming as an occupation? (for example, increased access to vocational programmes on agriculture) Will the initiatives be directed at certain populations of young people in cities (for example, under-served communities)? (to Iratxe García Pérez)

  • Léa Gaudron


    Q: Following the principles of the 2016 Cork declaration, there is a strong demand to ensure that all policies, regardless of their primary focus, are fit for rural areas. This is also known as "rural proofing". Can we expect a will the S&D group in the European Parliament to implement this principle for their future votes? This question may also be addressed to M. Ciolos for Renew Europe (to Iratxe García Pérez)

  • Harriet Bradley

    BirdLife Europe and Central Asia

    Q: We share your vision of raising our children surrounded by sounds and colours of nature. Nature is also essential for our survival and resilience of our food systems. To realise this vision, implementing the Biodiversity Strategy targets is critical. However, one of the first areas to implement the Strategy was in the EU Budget – by putting the necessary 20bn/year funds towards nature protection in Europe. Why was this not done, and where will this money come from instead? Thank you. (to Ursula von der Leyen)

  • odile HARVEY MEAR

    Radio Nord Bretagne- Radio Pays du Léon

    Q: Sorry I am trying to follow this conference in the original language without the translation in the background;thanks for technical help. Odile Harvey

  • Boban Ilic


    Q: Mr. Ciolos, I know that you are a supporter of the integration of the Western Balkan countries into the EU. I have two inquiries in this occasion: 1. Could you please discuss increase of the IPARD funds for the Western Balkans within the MFF? It is of crucial importance that investments in the rural areas continue and are increased. 2. While you were Commissioner you supported regional cooperation in the field of agriculture and rural development in the Western Balkans through SWG as a regional policy dialogue platform. Could you please support our efforts to get support from the multi-country program managed by DG NEAR? As a regional inter-governmental organization we have limited financial capacity to work without the support from the EC. In closing, I congratulate you and your associates for this initiative and discussion and wish you all the best regards from Skopje. (to Dacian Cioloș)

  • Q: Will implementation of new programmes be uniform across EU states? How will various differences (i.e. socio-economic variances) between states be taken into consideration during integration of these programmes? (to Werner Hoyer)

  • Gérard Choplin

    free-lance analyst of agriculture policies

    Q: During the last decades, the animal production was concentrated and industrialised in a few regions of the EU and abandoned in many others. It led to huge negative externalities at the expenses of consumers and taxpayers. The objective of economic cohesion between the EU regions was not respected. With the Green Deal and F2F/Biodiversity strategies proposals, why don't you propose to stop the industrialised animal production in the EU at the horizon of 2030 ? It would bring a lot of positive externalities, including for rural Europe. (to Ursula von der Leyen)

  • Barna Kovacs

    BIOEAST Initiative

    Q: Can we consider the bioeconomy development as one of the main driver of giving value-added to the biomass produced in rural areas? Is it a good way to develop national and regional strategie and action plan for sustainable bioeconomy? (to Dacian Cioloș)

  • João

    Q: Are you willing to work more with progressives? (to Dacian Cioloș)

  • João

    Q: Are you willing to pursue more social policies and a strong environmental policy? (to Ursula von der Leyen)

  • Brindusa Birhala

    Eco Ruralis-Romania

    Q: The Covid-19 crisis has brought the recognition of the essential role in society of peasants, smallholders and agricultural workers for providing fresh, nutritious and affordable food to consumers across Europe and for regenerating natural resources. However, we as small producers and agricultural workers do not feel supported in our efforts. Moreover, we are slowly disappearing, and the Covid-19 crisis is aggravating the historical discrimination against migrant seasonal workers both in the meat processing industry (especially slaughterhouses) and in the vegetable production fields and greenhouses. We all know very well the miserable living and working conditions of workers in the big industrial farms of Europe, and the constant degradation of the rights of workers and peasants in our regions. We cannot speak about principles and about protecting ourselves, biodiversity, and supporting the rural environment, while they are undermined by the violation of fundamental human rights. So far, the European Parliament has taken small, limited steps to address this important issue and more efforts are needed to link public policies with social conditionality. Is the Renew Europe parliamentary group ready to support, through concrete legislative proposals and actions, the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas in the European Union? (to Dacian Cioloș)

  • Léa Gaudron


    Q: In October 2018, the European Parliament voted a Resolution on addressing the specific needs of rural, mountainous and remote areas. Does the European Commission plan on acting on this Resolution (adapting it to the current context) ? How does the European Commission plan on collaborating with the European Parliament on ensuring the "rural proofing" of future policies? (to Ursula von der Leyen)

  • Juozas Olekas

    European Parliament

    Q: New initiatives are very important, but we cannot concentrate only on those and forget the old European promises that have not yet been fulfilled. Especially if we want to close the gap between East and West and create one Europe also in the countryside, we must solve the issue of external convergence of direct payments. The treaty of accession to the EU had promised Lithuanian farmers the EU average of direct payments by 2013. Then the European Council made one more promise to ensure external convergence by 2020 – but, as we know, those promises were not kept and the date gets pushed further and further into the future. Our farmers do the same amount of work, but they receive payments that are so much smaller than the payments farmers in other countries get, and so they are losing their trust in the EU. Solidarity and appreciation of the work the farmers are doing is especially important in these times. In order to make sure that our recovery is full, fair and just, and in order to create a new vision of rural areas, we must have fair competition and conditions between the farmers. The new green deal is a historic opportunity for this, and while we are fighting for sustainability, in order to preserve our planet, we should also fight for justice, equal and fair conditions for all European farmers. Would you commit to trying to reach full external convergence as soon as possible? (to Ursula von der Leyen)

  • Michael Smollen

    Q: The Irish Green Party has been a longstanding opponent of 'one off' housing in rural Ireland, seeking for the National Planning Framework in Ireland to grow small urban areas in rural Ireland. This is strongly opposed by rural residents in Ireland, particularly farmers - what are your own perspectives on this issue in a general sense across rural Europe? (to Pascal Canfin)