As a teacher, mother and politician, I have always been committed to youth; and as an MEP, I have made helping youth an integral part of my mission in the European Parliament.
Supporting entrepreneurship in young farmers
One of the ways that I have tried to open doors for young people is by acting as the Croatian Ambassador to the 2nd EPP Group European Congress of Young Farmers in the European Parliament.
My office organised a contest to find the best young farmers in Croatia and the top three participated in the Congress, which offered a wonderful opportunity to promote and support the work of young farmers in the EU and their importance in the agriculture sector. The young lady that won first place as the best young farmer in Croatia is Martina Petrović, with a project related to the cultivation of Black Slavonian pigs, a native Croatian breed.
Martina is a great example of why we need to support young farmers in Croatia and the EU. She is young, entrepreneurial and she has chosen to develop a family business that is extremely important for the equitable development of agriculture in Croatia. She is a great example of a young, educated person with a strong business idea, based in agriculture and strongly tied to the development of the local community and her hometown.
Family farms contribute to the development of rural areas
Family farming is important for the European Union because the majority of the EU's 12 million farms are family farms, passed down from one generation to another, and they greatly contribute to the socio-economic and environmental sustainability of rural areas. We must strive to support family farming because socially, it strengthens family values, solidarity, continuity and commitment, while economically, it improves entrepreneurial skills, strengthens business ownership, management and individual achievement.
In Croatia and in the EU, family farming is often more than just a professional choice. The decision to be involved in family farming reflects a lifestyle based on beliefs and traditions about living and work. For Croatia, it is important that we support these young people because their choices will benefit not only the agricultural sector, but society as a whole.
The EU supports young farmers through the Common Agricultural Policy and by facilitating cross-border cooperation between farmers.
It is our job to continue to help and to support young entrepreneurs like Martina. I believe in young people like her and in the future of agriculture in the EU.