On 19 April, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, and Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski met with representatives of the five Member States bordering Ukraine - Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Romania - as well as with Ukraine.
This follows the decisions over the past week by Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia to ban imports of Ukrainian grain as well as a number of other agri-food products including oilseeds, sugar and honey.
An overview of the measures adopted by Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia, and the affected products of concern to FRUCOM can be found in this table:
Dombrovskis and Wojciechowski presented the EU's comprehensive proposals to address the concerns expressed by these 5 Member States regarding the deterioration in the situation of Union producers for specific products. This proposed Commission package includes a second tranche of agricultural financial support to affected farmers, exceptional safeguard measures on key products and measures to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian grain exports via the Solidarity Lanes. The Commission's proposed package is subject to Member States lifting their unilateral measures.
According to reports from AgraFacts, the response of the EU is detailed in a letter dated 19 April, from the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addressed to the respective countries. The Commission President outlines:
- a second financial package worth EUR 100 million with a 200% co-financing rate, for affected farmers, as part of a common European approach.
- preventive measures to be adopted by the Commission, pursuant to the safeguard clause included in the autonomous trade measures regulation, beginning with a safeguard investigation in response to a request form Poland on sensitive products.
Von der Leyen added that EU Member States should work to adopt the pending legislative proposal for the renewal of the autonomous trade measures for another year beyond 5 June 2023 when the current measure expires.
In response to the measures adopted by some of the neighbouring countries, Dombrovskis and Wojciechowski underlined the importance of rapidly following a common EU approach, rather than unilateral solutions to avoid multiple bans and solutions which put the internal market at risk. The Commission also took note of the views presented by participants. We agreed to continue political consultations in the coming days in view of a swift solution.
Contact: Lebo Mofolo, firstname.lastname@example.org