European farmers union Copa-Cogeca has sent a letter to EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, calling for agriculture projects to form part of his €315 billion investment plan.
The Juncker Investment Plan, a scheme aimed to boost private investment in European infrastructure projects, was agreed by European Union heads of state at Friday’s EU Summit.
Agriculture and forestry have “huge potential to boost growth and jobs upstream and downstream and get people back to work”, reads a press release on Copa-Cogeca’s website.
“We believe that the EU agriculture and forestry sectors must be a key element in the plan as they are one of the biggest economic sectors and play a strong role in strengthening the economy especially, in EU rural areas,” said Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen. “Areas like the bio-economy, research and innovation in the agri-food sector as well as infrastructures and grain storage capacity projects can deliver the objectives put forward in the plan. But the ambitious plan does not recognize this. Out of over 2,000 applications already waiting, very few or none relate to agriculture. These projects are also not new and no one knows if they fit the bill. This must be revised.”