Brussels Daily
16 Nov 2016


Brussels Daily


Commission presents study on impact of future trade agreements on the agricultural sector

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner Phil Hogan presented to agriculture ministers at the Council meeting the study on the cumulative effects of 12 future trade agreements on the agri-food sector, including specific results for producer prices and production volumes for a range of products accounting for 30% of the value of the EU exports in the sector. The study illustrates the potential for European agricultural products on the world market, while at the same time also showing the sensitivity of specific agricultural sectors. The Commission also published yesterday the latest agri-food trade figures which showed a record value for EU agri-food exports in September 2016 of almost €11.5 billion, confirming the opportunities for the sector. The detailed knowledge on the potential impacts that the present study on future trade agreements provides will allow the Commission to make informed choices during the negotiation process. The study as such is not a prediction or forecast but a highly theoretical exercise with many limitations reflecting potential outcomes of the successful conclusion of the agreements covered. Commenting on the study, Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said: “The overall picture is positive for high-value European agricultural exports. This study shows that there are sensitivities, however, it focuses on only one part of agricultural sector and does not measure a number of agri-food products which have significant export growth potential.  This balance is fully reflected in the EU’s trade negotiating strategy, in which we seek to protect our vulnerable sectors through measures such as tariff rate quotas, while maximising our positive interests whenever possible. Growth in the area of processed food, in particular, also has positive knock-on effects for the primary production sector. EU exports of agricultural commodities support 1.4 million jobs and another 650,000 jobs in the processed foods sector also depend on our ability to export. The EU economy as a whole benefits greatly from trade as shown by the recent free trade agreement with South-Korea.” Commissioner Hogan said that: “Some Member States and stakeholders have expressed concern on the accumulated effect of the bilateral trade agreements which the EU has been and continues to pursue. This study responds to those concerns and, based on the assumptions made, shows that the effect of international trade agreements on agriculture and the European agri-food sector is broadly positive.” The press conference of Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Hogan is on Ebs. A press release and a memo are available online in all languages.


European Semester Autumn Package: Working for a stronger and more inclusive economic recovery

The Commission today sets out its views on the EU’s economic and social priorities for the year ahead, building on the guidance from President Juncker‘s 2016 State of the Union address and on the latest economic data from the Commission’s Autumn 2016 Forecast. Today’s package starts the 2017 cycle of economic governance, the so-called European Semester. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The 2017 European Semester we start today will be decisive for Europe to manage its economic and social turn-around. I believe we can do it. This is why today the Commission is recommending a positive fiscal stance to support the recovery and the monetary policy of the European Central Bank, which should not bear the burden alone. Every Member State should play its part: those that can afford it need to invest more, while those which have less fiscal space should pursue reforms and growth-friendly fiscal consolidation.”

A press release and memo are available online. The remarks of Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Thyssenand Commissioner Moscoviciat the press conference are also available online. Further information is available on the European Semester and DG ECFIN websites.


BXL WEDNESDAY   Daily-News-16-11-2016

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