COPA elects Albert Maat as new president

EU leaders from the European Farmers’ Organisation Copa today elected Albert Jan Maat as the new President for the period 2013-2015. He will succeed Gerd Sonnleitner whose term-in office has expired.

Speaking after the vote, Mr Maat said “It is a great honour to be elected today. I will do my best to ensure European farmers have a viable future to meet upcoming challenges. My priorities include making sure implementing rules for the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package and transitional arrangements are agreed so that the new CAP will be introduced in 2014, with a transitional phase, and apply in full in 2015. I will also fight hard to get a good deal for our farmers in the trade liberalising talks between the EU and US. Before we even start talking about lowering trade barriers, the United States has to commit itself to respecting our production standards. Finally, in the upcoming European Parliament and Commission elections, I will campaign and demand a key role for European farming in the programmes of all European political parties”.

Mr Maat has been President of the Dutch Farmers Union LTO since 2007 and was Member of the European Parliament over the period 1999-2007. He has also been Copa Vice-President for four years.

Copa also elected six new Vice-Presidents for a two year term. Mr Xavier Beulin (Fnsea – Fr); Harry Sinclair (UFU, Ulster); Ricardo Serra Arias (ASAJA, Spain); Miklos Zsolt Kis (HCA, Hungary); Mr Jerzy Chroscikowski (Solidarnosc, Poland); Ms Maira Dzelzkaleja from the Latvian Farmers’ Parliament.

Mr Xavier Beulin is President of the French Farmers Union Fnsea and runs a mixed arable crops and dairy farm. Harry Sinclair is President of the Ulster Farmers Union and is a beef and sheep farmer, farming the family farm in an LFA environment. Ricardo Serra Arias Vice-President of the Spanish Farm Organisation Asaja has been an active member of Copa for the past 20 years. Miklos Zsolt Kis Vice-President of Hungarian Chambers of Agriculture (HCA) and has played an active role in Copa since 2004. Mr Jerzy Chroscikowski is President of the Polish Agriculture Trade Union Solidarnosc and was previously a Polish Senator. Ms Maira Dzelzkaleja is Vice-President of the Latvian Farmers’ Parliament and comes from a family farm and is committed to rural development.


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