The Slovenia Times

Key demand by farmers resolved

Industry & Agriculture

Representatives of Slovenian farmers and the government have managed to resolve a key demand that led to massive protests by farmers this spring as they agreed that mitigating measures on farmland that is part of Natura 2000 sites would be voluntary.

Under the compromise announced on 23 June, one voluntary measure will be put in place for the Ljubljana Marshes and Planinsko Polje, both in central Slovenia, and one for Goričko, a hilly area in the north-east of the country.

Pending approval by the European Commission, these voluntary measures will replace special Natura 2000 payments aimed at preserving biodiversity in sensitive habitats by reducing the intensity of farming.

"The European Commission will be sent a proposal for voluntary measures with the aim of achieving environmental goals and facilitating normal farming and the development of farms," the two sides said in a joint statement.

The compromise comes after farmers staged two huge rallies in March and April demanding that the government retract environmental rules they said would make it impossible to continue farming in Natura 2000 areas.

But this was just one of their demands, albeit the biggest one. They also oppose a new animal protection bill that would introduce NGO-led animal welfare inspections at farms.

Anton Medved, the president of the Trade Union of Farmers, told the STA the talks were continuing and would now be held every Friday until the end of July. It was agreed that the two sides would tackle each open issue successively, he said.


More from Industry & Agriculture