Will the revolt continue to spread? After Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Poland, it's now the turn of France and Belgium to be affected by major farmer demonstrations. On Monday 29 January 2024, a massive movement of producers and workers in the agriculture sector laid siege to Paris; on the same day, a similar mobilisation arrived in Brussels and disrupted traffic on a number of roads. In both countries, protests are set to continue over the coming days.
As a result of interactions between producers and unions, whose views occasionally diverge, these movements all have multiple and sometimes even contradictory demands. The increase in the price of farm diesel, low wages and the disappearance of certain subsidies are regularly identified as the main areas of frustration.
But there are some issues that go well beyond the national level: the ban on pesticides and herbicides decided at European level, and the effects of the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement as well as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are regularly mentioned by French, Belgian and German farmers. These issues were likely to be on the agenda for the special European Council meeting on 1 February.
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