Hungary will only approve the EU’s new free trade pact with South America’s Mercosur trading bloc if it guarantees the protection of Hungarian farmers’ interests, a newly elected MEP of ruling Fidesz said in Brussels. Balázs Hidvéghi, a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, discussed topical agricultural issues with European Commission officials. “It is important for Hungarian farmers that the EU conclude bilateral agreements that protect domestic farmers and provide guarantees on excluding the use of double standards,” he said. A sharp increase in agricultural goods from overseas and the planned cut in EU farming subsidies may hurt Hungarian agriculture and the interests of Hungarian farmers, Hidvéghi said. “Hungarian farmers expect us to enforce their interests,” he argued.
A political agreement on an EU-Mercosur free trade deal was reached late last month after 20 years of negotiations. Experts, however, consider the ratification process “rough”, foreseeing objection by some of the member states.