EU Offers Further EUR165 M in Aid to Farmers Hit by Russian Sanctions

Bulgaria in EU | September 30, 2014, Tuesday // 11:24|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

The European Commission is providing EUR 165 M under a new scheme to help fruit and vegetable producers hurt by the Russian ban on EU agricultural imports.

“Worth up to EUR 165 M, this new scheme provides support to withdraw surplus volumes from the market and comes in addition to the program worth up to EUR 125 M for fruit & vegetables that was announced on August 18, but suspended on September 10 because provisional applications showed that the full budget allocation had already been claimed,” the EC informs.

The new scheme covers 4 product groups: apples & pears (total 181 000 tonnes); citrus fruit: oranges, mandarins, clementines (total 96 090 tonnes); other vegetables: carrots, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes (44 300 tonnes); other fruits: kiwi, plums & table grapes (total 76 895 tonnes). A number of products covered in the previous scheme - cabbage, cauliflowers, headed broccoli, mushrooms, and soft fruit - are no longer included.

In addition to these specific volumes, all 28 Member State will have a reserve of 3 000 tonnes each for supplementary withdrawals for the products listed in this program, plus cauliflowers, cabbages and mushrooms, with Member States allowed to prioritize certain products.

Following the Russian ban of imports of certain agricultural products from the EU (and the USA, Canada, Australia, and Norway) on August 7, the European Commission has responded with specific market support measures for peaches & nectarines (EUR 33 M), perishable fruit & vegetables (EUR 125 M), and private storage aid for butter, skimmed milk powder (SMP) and cheese, as well as an additional EUR 30 M for promotion programs.

Today's measure is a further Delegated Regulation taken under the Commission's own authority, without need for prior approval by Member States or the European Parliament. However, the Commission did consult with Member State experts on certain modalities while drafting the text.

On September 24, the European Parliament published a declaration informing that some 9.5 million farmers could be affected by Russia's import restrictions.

The EP also noted that exports to Russia in 2013 had amounted to EUR 11.3 B and that the sanctions imposed by Moscow were expected to cost the EU around EUR 5.3 B.

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Tags: European Commission, European parliament, food imports, sanctions, agricultural producers


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