As the EU meeting gets underway, protesting farmers throw eggs and jam tractors into the streets.

Farmers protesting took to the streets of the European Union’s capital on Thursday coincided with a critical summit between leaders of the union, during which further financing for Ukraine was decided. Early in the morning, protesters drove their tractors into Brussels and gathered in front of the European Parliament, the site of the summit. They set off fires, hollered eggs, and hollered horns. All this week, a few tractors had been parked close to the EU Parliament, and on Thursday morning, convoys from all across the nation came together.

 

In front of the parliament building, some demonstrators set things on fire, while others carried banners that said, “No farmers, no food.” Police issued a warning about “traffic problems” in the area on Thursday, stating that roughly 1,000 tractors were anticipated in the Belgian capital for the scheduled demonstration. The protesters want to exert pressure on the group to give their complaints some attention, even though EU farming issues are not on the agenda for the meeting.
Farmers have demanded a relaxation of the regulations governing the common agricultural policy of the bloc, claiming they are underpaid, stifled by environmental regulations and taxes, and subject to unfair competition from elsewhere, especially low-cost agricultural imports from Ukraine.

 

In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU has eliminated import duties and quotas for Ukrainian goods. Renaud Foucart, a senior lecturer in economics at Lancaster University in England, said to CNN that the farmers who are protesting have two main grievances. One of the most common fears among farmers in eastern Europe is that the influx of wheat and numerous other agricultural products from Ukraine into the market will lead to unfair competition, and as a result, they would like to see some form of protectionism. According to Foucacart, the primary concern of farmers in western European nations is the environmental laws and the expenditures that the EU Green Deal imposes on them.

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