Polish farmers launch 30-day nationwide protests in response to economic pressures News
H-stt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Polish farmers launch 30-day nationwide protests in response to economic pressures

Polish farmers launched on Friday a 30-day nationwide protest in response to economic pressure on the country’s agricultural sector from the EU. The protest includes the blocking of roads around the country as well as the blocking of border crossings with Ukraine. It also involves general strikes throughout the agricultural industry. Over 250 protest actions occurred across the country on Friday.

The Solidarnosc union launched the protest after the EU extended duty-free trade with Ukraine through June. The protesters are demanding the addition of agricultural provisions to the proposed Green Deal the EU is set to pass. The Green Deal is a package of environmental regulations to combat global warming. The farmworkers are concerned that increasing environmental regulations will lead to a reduction in the agricultural production of Europe. Agricultural products are currently less than two percent of all production within the EU.

In Poland, the farmworkers are concerned that reductions in domestic agricultural production could threaten the country’s food security. Some of the protestors involved have mentioned the looming prospect of war with Russia as a reason for the protests. The Polish Agricultural Minister Czesław Siekierski stated that the protestors are fighting for a “just cause.” He also mentioned that talks are underway to establish new rules for Polish-Ukrainian trade. At the same time, Siekierski acknowledged that the decision is ultimately up to the European Parliament. 

The protests are a part of a wider series of farmer and trucker protests across Europe. Protesters accuse the European Parliament of trying to push too many regulations, putting up too much red tape and reducing the profitability of certain industries through newly proposed legislation. Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Poland, Greece and Germany have all experienced these sorts of protests in recent weeks. In Brussels, protestors camped outside of the European Parliament building, sparked fires, threw eggs and blared truck horns. This is the second year in a row these protests have taken place.

This comes after Poland farmers suspended a blockade at the Ukrainian border after signing a deal with the president.