Politics & Economics

Agricultural crisis: after the government’s announcements, Macron calls for a new European agricultural model

February 2024
By Eleonore Para

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France is Europe’s leading agricultural power – with 17% of production – but the country is seeing some of its production shrink. Rising prices for energy, raw materials, animal feed, fertilisers, packaging and transport are just some of the difficulties affecting the sector.

After two weeks of blockades and demonstrations by farmers, the French government has announced measures aimed at: better recognising the farming profession, restoring value to food, restoring income to farmers, protecting against unfair competition, simplifying the daily lives of farmers, combating over-transposition, securing the future and preserving sovereignty in the face of climate change.

These measures include:

  • 150 million in tax and social support for farmers from 2024;
  • Enshrining France’s goal of food sovereignty in law;
  • Widespread labelling of the origin of products, particularly at European level;
  • The continuation of controls to ensure compliance with the Egalim law;
  • A halt to the Ecophyto plan, the aim of which was to gradually reduce the use of pesticides in France by 50% by 2025;
  • A ban on imports into France of fruit and vegetables treated with the pesticide thiacloprid;

Four months ahead of the European elections, Emmanuel Macron met the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and called for a new European agricultural model.

In particular, he called for the creation of a European health and agricultural control force to combat unfair competition between Member States. He also called for tighter controls on “mirror” clauses applying to products imported into the European market. He also reaffirmed his strict opposition to the free trade agreement with Mercosur.