Farmers announce protest in Brussels on Monday, major traffic disruption expected

Farmers' organisations have announced a demonstration in Brussels on Monday 26 February, in response to a summit of European Agriculture ministers. Brussels police expect the protest to cause major traffic disruptions in the Brussels region that day.

The demonstration will take place during a summit of European agriculture ministers. Farmers with tractors will gather at 11am on the Schuman square in the European district of Brussels. The organizers are expecting several hundred tractors to show up to the capital.

The demonstration is an initiative of European, Walloon and Flemish farmers' organisations. They are calling for the EU to withdraw from free trade agreements, such as the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, and for a strong Common Agricultural Policy.

EU-Mercosur Association Agreement

Farmers fear that the EU-Mercosur deal, currently being negotiated by the European Commission and the South American trade bloc Mercosur, will lead to cheap South American agricultural products flooding European markets and driving down prices.

"The EU takes too little account of the impact on our family farms when negotiating free trade agreements," says ABS president Hendrik Vandamme. "The impact of successive trade agreements is too great."

"The EU takes too little account of the impact on our family farms when negotiating free trade agreements"

The EU has signalled its intention to make concessions to protesting farmers. In a note published on Thursday, the European Commission presented several ideas to limit the administrative burden on European farmers.

Like an earlier demonstration on 1 February, the protest is expected to paralyse the Belgian capital. Brussels police are warning of traffic problems from 6am and are recommending that people use public transport, preferably the metro or train, or other means of transport on Monday.



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