13 Mar 2017
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 13 MARCHBrussels Daily
Agriculture: simpler rules and increased support for European fruit and vegetable producers
Thanks to new provisions adopted today by the European Commission, European fruit and vegetable producers’ organizations will benefit from simpler rules, reduced administrative burden and increased financial support in times of crisis. Concluding a two-year review process under the Juncker Commission’s “Better Regulation” initiative, the updated and simplified delegated regulation on the European fruit and vegetable sector will strengthen the role of producer organizations. By making them more attractive to non-member producers while improving the functioning of the existing market management system. EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said today: “In the context of agriculture and food production in Europe, the fruit and vegetable sector is of crucial importance. The European Commission will continue to support this sector as it has done in the past. It is also essential that the millions of farmers who produce some of the world’s best food are rightfully rewarded for their efforts and that consumers continue to have access to these products. “Each year, 3.4 million farms The Union as a whole, or about a quarter of all European farms, produce fruit and vegetables worth some EUR 47 billion. According to the latest figures available, about 1 500 producer organizations cover 50% of the Union’s fruit and vegetable production. In addition to direct aid and co-financing by the Union of rural development projects, EU fruit and vegetable producers have benefited from exceptional support measures totaling EUR 430 million since the Commission Russia agreement on an EU agri-food export ban in August 2014. The European Commission also provides additional funding to producer organizations, which each year amount to around € 700 million. A press release on the new rules is available here
Juncker Plan: European Fund for Strategic Investments to trigger more than EUR 177 billion in new investments across all 28 Member States
The Juncker Plan is now expected to trigger more than EUR 177 billion in total investments. These figures follow last week’s meeting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Board of Directors. This comes just two years after the Plan was launched by the Juncker Commission and represents well over half of the EUR 315 billion target of total investments mobilised that was originally earmarked. The operations approved under the EFSI represent a total financing volume of over EUR 32 billion and are located in all 28 Member States. The EIB has now approved 197 EFSI-backed infrastructure projects worth over EUR 24 billion. The European Investment Fund (EIF) has approved 264 SME financing agreements, with total financing under the EFSI of over EUR 8 billion. Over 400,000 SMEs and Midcaps are expected to benefit from these agreements. The Commission’s proposal to extend the EFSI (the so-called “EFSI 2.0” proposal) has already made good progress. At its December meeting, the European Council welcomed an agreement by EU Finance Ministers to give their backing to the proposal and called for the extension to be adopted by the co-legislators in the first half of 2017. President Juncker has made it clear that the EFSI 2.0 is among the Commission’s top legislative priorities and, as such, he looks forward to collaborating closely with the European Parliament to ensure its swift adoption.