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A letter to the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen was signed by the Prime Ministers of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia

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There has been an unprecedented increase in imports of cereals, oilseeds, eggs, poultry, sugar, apple juice, berries, apples, flour, honey and pasta – wrote the Prime Ministers of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia in a letter to the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen . They are calling for intervention in this matter.

Under the letter on measures to counter the negative effects of increased imports of agricultural products from Ukraine Prime Ministers of Poland signed on the European Union market Mateusz MorawieckiHungarian Viktor Orban, Romania Nicolae Ciuca, Slovakia’s Eduard Heger and Bulgaria Rumen Radev.

The difficulties do not apply to the entire European market

The leaders of the states emphasize that “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine caused not only a huge increase in production costs in the agricultural sector and an increase in business risk, but also problems on EU agricultural markets.”

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However, these difficulties do not apply to the entire European market, they point out. “The most serious problems occur in countries bordering on Ukraine or located in its close vicinity. These problems are related to a significant increase in the supply of Ukrainian products to the markets of the European Union Member States, especially those bordering on Ukraine or located in its vicinity” – the Prime Ministers write. In particular, there was an unprecedented increase in imports of cereals, oilseeds, eggs, poultry, sugar, apple juice, blueberries, apples, flour, honey and pasta.

An appeal for additional sources of funding

Politicians also indicate that difficulties have arisen in the management of surplus cereals in warehouses, which has destabilized the market of cereals, industrial and oilseed crops, especially wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower, and imposed additional costs on agricultural producers. “Given the scale of the above phenomena, it is necessary to significantly increase the amount of funds allocated to activities supporting the European Union. Additional funds are needed because the funds from the CAP (EU Common Agricultural Policy – ed.) and national budgets are insufficient” – they emphasize. “Therefore, we call for the launch of additional sources of financing, in addition to the planned emergency measures, to support agricultural producers who have suffered losses and are at risk of losing financial liquidity” – they add. In their opinion, “these measures could also help achieve the original goal of the ‘solidarity belts’, i.e. the export of Ukrainian agricultural surpluses to countries in Africa and the Middle East, and thus prevent famine.” “We call on the Commission to analyze the possibility of buying surplus grain from neighboring Member States for humanitarian purposes,” the prime ministers appeal. “We also reiterate our call for financial support from the European Union for faster development of transport infrastructure and strengthening connections (railway, road, port infrastructure, expansion of border transshipment terminals, improvement of the Black Sea and Danube port infrastructure and intermodal connections) and for participants to make available market for additional vehicles (freight stock, ships and trucks) in order to ensure and improve the circulation of the constantly growing stream of goods from Ukraine to the European Union and to enable its smooth transfer to third countries. “In addition, we call on the Commission to propose a common EU solution that, in cooperation with the World Food Program (WFP), would ensure that Ukrainian grain is purchased so that it does not end up in European Union member states. This would help maintain the flow of food trade and mitigate the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on countries third,” the leaders urged.

Change of trading mechanisms

As they indicate, it is also crucial to speed up the process in terms of the proposed aid mechanisms at the level of the European Union. “Given the scale of the problems caused by the Russian aggression in Ukraine, this is of great importance” – they emphasize. “We also ask the Commission to speed up the notification procedures for programs implemented on the basis of the Commission’s communication – Temporary crisis framework for state aid measures to support the economy after Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” it said. “In the field of trade mechanisms, we propose to change the current legal basis for agricultural imports from Ukraine in order to introduce the possibility of regulating the size and direction of excessive inflow of agricultural products,” the leaders write. They recommend the introduction of an automatic support mechanism for farmers in regions and sectors affected by excessive imports from Ukraine, which is disrupting European Union markets and harming EU producers. “In the regulation currently discussed in the European Union on the extension of autonomous trade measures to goods imported from Ukraine, we propose to amend the provisions on the safeguard clause so that the tariff quotas are reduced in relation to their annual level in the event of the reintroduction of tariffs under the association agreement” – indicate. “In addition to a mechanism to monitor the impact of the proposed regulation, we also suggest that European Union should retain the ability to react to unfair practices in imports from Ukraine (e.g. in the form of enhanced surveillance or the possibility of initiating anti-dumping proceedings). The problem of excessive quantities of goods remaining in the Member States, and thus threatening the belts of solidarity, must also be effectively addressed. to the Commission to put in place the appropriate procedures to reintroduce customs duties and tariff quotas on imports from Ukraine.” “In addition, if changes are needed to programs co-financed by the CAP in response to the crisis caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine, we further suggest that the Commission approve as soon as possible changes proposed by Member States (as emergency measures)” – the Prime Ministers wrote.

Read also: Sawicki on a compromise between farmers and the ministry: this is an agreement without an agreement

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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