• February 28, 2012
  • 265

Despite the injustice, we must unite to act together

Wanda Krawczonok

Although the elections to the Seimas will not be held until autumn, we can already notice that some press articles have a bitter taste of political propaganda. Some essays convince people that politics is simply the personification of evil, while others give incomplete, deliberately chosen, biased, misleading and even false information.

Unfortunately, but this is obvious, such articles challenge the authority of politicians, increase public disillusionment, cause the increase of fears about the future. Day by day, when reading preconceived articles, people eventually do not know who to trust, they are disappointed, no longer interested in public issues, and then they drop their hands and do not even come to the polls. And this is not a lack of the electoral activity, but simply a problem of disillusioned people, misled by the public media.

However, there should be a counterweight to this situation. In politics, one needs to seek the truth and gives hope to people. That is why the society should know that there are in fact also politicians, who do not lack good will, hard work and honesty. And, in particular, those who wrote about politics depart from the truth. It is worth mentioning in this case, the essay of Albinas Čaplikas, “Why do Poles want to take the chair of the Minister of Agriculture?” published on 18th February in the newspaper „Valstiečių laikraštis”. The article, as a result of its misleading character, can improperly influence the opinion of readers. Therefore, it is necessary to present some remarks in regards to the mentioned article.

First of all, the title itself is misleading. Why, when talking about the regional party EAPL (Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania), the only representatives mentioned are of Polish nationality? After all, it is a party that unites citizens of Lithuania of diverse nationalities: Poles, Belarusians, Russians, Lithuanians and others. It is obvious that the journalist of „Valstiečių laikraštis” („Peasant newspaper”) as a truth gives its readers statements that are fundamentally wrong.

Moreover, Čaplikas states irresponsibly that the EAPL allegedly does not contribute to decisions on the issue of agriculture in Lithuania. In this case, one can say that the author deliberately hides the real facts and wants to create a negative image of the party. After all, the truth is different that the one, the journalist tries to convince the readers to.

The improvement of conditions for agriculture is one of the challenges that the EAPL and its leader work diligently and conscientiously on. Out of all MEPs from Lithuania, only Waldemar Tomaszewski belongs to the Commission for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament. In the area of agriculture, he has already done a lot. Facts speak for themselves:

– During the plenary meetings of the European Parliament, he has spoken about the problems related to the discrepancy in the payment of direct subsidies to the member states for the development of the dairy sector and on other agricultural problems;

– Yet in 2010, on 24th February, the politician of the European Parliament, prepared and, together with the MEP from Latvia, Sandra Kalniete and MEPs from Poland, Mirosław Piotrowski i Janusz Wojciechowski, submitted a written statement on the issue of equal treatment of farmers in the European Union. A written statement was signed by 53 MEPs;

– Between 1st and 4th March 2011, Waldemar Tomaszewski together with other MEPs organised an external meeting of the Group of European Conservatives and Reformists in Vilnius. During the meeting, members of the European Parliament and experts in the field of agriculture discussed about the important issues: “Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). The reform of CAP and the future after 2013”, as well as “CAP: payment of direct subsidies and the situation in new member states”;

– In March last year, before the adoption of an important for farmers Albert DESS’s report in regards to the issue of CAP 2020, the politician submitted amendments (changes) to the draft report, according to which each member state should receive at least 90 per cent of the EU average of direct payments, not two thirds of them as currently.

– The Albert DESS’s Report was adopted on 25th May 2011, and the resolution of the European Parliament (according to the A.D. report) “CAP 2020”: meeting the challenges of the future related to food, natural resources and territorial aspects” was adopted on 23rd June 2011.

Unfortunately, only after the adoption of the above mentioned resolution by the European Parliament, other MEPs from our country became active. They initiated the process of collection of signatures, organisation of meetings. But a bit too late, the decision has already been made. However, on the other side, it is better late than never.

– At the end of October 2011, all members of the European Parliament from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania sent a letter to the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development of the EU, Dacian Ciolos, demanding honest direct subsidies.

– On 23rd November 2011, Waldemar Tomaszewski met in Brussels also with the representatives of the Rural Chamber of Lithuania.

– Moreover, MEP Waldemar Tomaszewski, together with the Polish MEP Janusz Wojciechowski, on 1st December 2011, participated in a meeting with the representatives of farmers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

At these two above mentioned meetings, MEP Waldemar Tomaszewski participated as the only Lithuanian MEP.

To sum up, it can be clearly seen that Waldemar Tomaszewski really has been taking active initiatives in order to help farmers and Lithuanian agriculture. The politician is undertaking concrete measures to improve the situation of agriculture in our country.

And when we already know the presented above facts, it becomes obvious that the journalist Albinas Čaplikas has prepared his article in a careless way, did not have sufficient knowledge or deliberately wanted to mislead the society. Does this journalist not care about the truth, but has some vague objectives instead? Perhaps, he seeks to undermine public confidence in EAPL? Help to uplift the competitors?

It seems that the article of the journalist is associated with some populist actions of the Member of Parliament, Jonas Ramonas and politician Gediminas Vagnorius. It is not a secret that the newspaper „Valstiečių laikraštis” is connected with the business of the son of Žiemelis – another Member of Parliament, belonging to that party.

Despite all this injustice and lies, we should currently concentrate on the issues that could help us to win better conditions for our farmers, but we have to act here and now before the approval of unfavourable decisions for us, not after their adoption.

Wanda Krawczonok
Vilnius local government councilor
on behalf of EAPL


Tłumaczenie Małgorzata Juchniewicz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Małgorzata Juchniewicz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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