European farmer protests escalated in Brussels this week, as the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers met on Monday.

Protesting farmers off-loaded slurry, crashed through police barricades and set piles of tyres on fire.

Cheap imports from Ukraine, rising costs, environmental regulation, farm subsidy supports and the price of fuel were among farmers’ issues. At the meeting, which was attended by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, a move towards easing the administrative burden on farmers was discussed.

The proposals included a reduction in the number of farm inspections, greater flexibility for those unable to fulfil CAP requirements due to unforeseen circumstances or who make genuine mistakes in applications and a review of the conditionality associated with basic income support payments.

An online survey for farmers to voice their concerns is also being considered.


Last weekend, French farmers clashed with police at the country’s largest agricultural show.

This delayed French president Emmanuel Macron’s opening of Salon de l’Agriculture by several hours, where he met with some farming organisations.

Macron announced that he would bring an agricultural orientation bill to the council of ministers on 20 March and that he intended to put minimum price floors in place on a sector-by-sector basis.

“There will be a minimum price, a floor price, below which the processor cannot buy and the distributor cannot sell,” Macron said.


In Poland, farmers blocked a motorway into Germany last weekend.

They were protesting over environmental regulation, imports from Ukraine and low incomes.

This latest protest action comes alongside their blockade of border crossings into Ukraine in recent weeks, over high levels of agri-food imports from Ukraine since import quotas and tariffs from the war-torn country were removed.