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The future of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and forestry issues were in the focus of a meeting today of farm ministers of the Visegrad Group, plus Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania and Finland. The current predictable CAP system should not be replaced by an unstable one that is hard to implement, Hungarian state secretary of agriculture Zsolt Feldman said at the meeting in Prague on Saturday. Changes to CAP would entail a transition period of up to two years for farmers and member states to accommodate national legislation and the submission of a detailed funding strategy to Brussels, the farm ministry cited Feldman as saying in a statement.

The ministers also signed a declaration calling on European political bodies to take necessary measures to protect European forests. The declaration states that sustainable European forestry would be enhanced by implementing innovative solutions, funding and modernising the forestry sector, cutting red tape and cooperation by member states. Feldman said that farmers should be incentivised to be involved in forestry. He cited a Hungarian decision to increase funding for forest planting while supplementing lost revenue due to afforestation.