Organic farmers assign state for late payment of EU aid

Three French farmers took legal action on Friday over the late payment of European organic subsidies, which places them in unsustainable situations, according to the president of the National Federation of Organic Agriculture. Emmanuel Macron promised that the delays would be settled by March 15th.

Excited, organic farmers and the National Federation of Organic Agriculture (FNAB) have decided to sue the state for late payments of European subsidies. A first. Three referred-provisions were filed before the administrative courts of Lyon, Nantes and Poitiers in order to “request the immediate payment of aid,” says the FNAB in a statement. It is an urgent procedure which allows the judge to lodge a summary judgment within fifteen days to order the State to pay his claim as soon as possible.

“To date, 25% of the aid of 2016, 50% of the aid of 2017 and 100% of the organic aid of 2018 have still not been paid” denounces the federation that had seized the defender of rights last October.

The president of the FNAB, Guillaume Riou, “organic polyculture-breeder” in Deux-Sèvres, is one of the first three applicants. Late payments have put organic farmers “in difficult economic and financial situations, sometimes even untenable” underlines the federation. Requests for reimbursement range from 29,000 to 54,000 euros over three years, he told AFP.

 “We have short-term loans to cover our obligations such as paying our suppliers, our employees and taxes, we have been handicapped on our investments, some have cut back on their income and we are even starting to see cases of bankruptcy. organic peasants were sacrificed on the altar of immobility “considers Guillaume Riou.

The promises of Macron
The complaints specifically target the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Didier Guillaume, the heads of the Services and Payment Agency (ASP), responsible for the payment of European subsidies, and the presidents of the regions concerned.

Last December, the Minister of Agriculture estimated that there remained 300 million euros of organic aid to pay and had considered the situation “absolutely abnormal”, recognizing that the state had been “failing” and promising that catching up would be done “by forced march”.

Questioned on the subject by students of agricultural high schools on February 7 at a meeting of the “big debate” in Etang-sur-Arroux, Saone-et-Loire, Emmanuel Macron promised that the late payments for 2016 and 2017 would be sold “in the spring”, by March 15, arguing the existence of “computer and technical problems”.

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