Rows of tractors sounding their horns have begun to circulate through the streets of the European neighborhood of Brussels since early this Thursday morning, where today they have called a protest coinciding with the celebration of a summit of leaders of the European Union (EU). ).
Other groups of tractors had already been circulating since dawn on the inner ring road of the Belgian capital, making traffic difficult, which is why the authorities have asked the population to favor public transport today when traveling around the capital.
The federal highway police also reported several groups of tractors on several national and surrounding highways in the direction of the capital.
The anger of the Belgian farmers, who began to stage protests last Friday and began their actions on Sunday, want to intensify it this Thursday in Brussels to show the sector’s discomfort to European leaders.
Representatives of agricultural associations from different countries, including the Spanish ASAJA, will participate in a rally in the European neighborhood this afternoon to explain the reasons for the unrest in the countryside.
“ASAJA joins the voice of the agricultural sector to protest the unfair and difficult situation that plagues the European countryside,” the association said in a statement the day before that explained that there will also be representatives of associations from Italy and Portugal.
The reasons for farmers’ discontent, which has sparked protests in recent months in more than fifteen member states, including Germany and France, are not expected to be formally addressed at today’s European summit.
However, French President Emmanuel Macron said a few days ago that he wants to talk about the matter during his stay in Brussels.
Macron indicated that he will propose to the president of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, a series of changes in agricultural policy, in particular on fallow rules and the entry of Ukrainian products, to confront the crisis facing his Government with the protests of the sector.
Precisely this Wednesday, the European Commission proposed extending for another year the trade advantages it grants to Ukraine to support its economy in the face of Russia’s invasion, but introduced safeguards in case one or more countries see their agricultural markets affected.
Also, yesterday the European Commission proposed repealing throughout 2024 the rule that forces farmers to keep part of their arable land fallow, a measure demanded by demonstrators protesting in several Member States.