Polish farmers held their largest protest so far

On Wednesday, 20 March, tens of thousands of farmers initiated the largest wave of protests across Poland so far. Angry farmers and other protesters blocked roads at several hundred locations. 

Ahead of the strike, police estimates indicated the potential participation of up to 70,000 protesters at nearly 600 locations. The farmers obstructed access to roads leading to major cities, including Warsaw, and border crossings with Ukraine. Police presence was reinforced following recent clashes during a prior farmers’ protest in Warsaw.

Farmers in Poland and other EU countries have been staging protests in recent months, advocating for reinstating customs duties on agricultural imports from Ukraine. These duties were waived following Russia’s invasion in 2022. The farmers argue that Ukraine’s influx of inexpensive agricultural imports has inundated European markets, rendering them unable to compete effectively.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament announced an agreement with the European Council to temporarily suspend import duties and quotas on Ukrainian agricultural exports to the EU until 5 June 2025. The agreement incorporates safeguards for EU farmers, including emergency measures for sensitive agricultural products such as poultry, eggs, and sugar.

 

Image: X (@visegrad24)

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen

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