09 Sep 2015
MEPS SAY MORE ACTION NEEDED TO ALLEVIATE FALLING PRICES AND STABILISE FOOD PRODUCTION – 09 SEPTEMBERBrussels Daily
Agricultural crisis: Yes to €500 million aid package, but more actions needed, says chair of European Parliament AGRI Committee
The Commission’s package of measures worth €500 million aimed at helping EU’s dairy and meat farmers with the current market crisis is a step in the right direction, but not enough to alleviate impact of falling prices and stabilise the food production in Europe, says the Chair of the Parliament’s Agriculture Committee Czesław Adam Siekierski (EPP, PL).
“Parliament’s Agriculture committee has been for months now calling for more decisive and targeted interventions on agricultural markets, including on the dairy and meat one. We are glad that the Commission has heeded our calls and has finally come up with a plan that could, at least to some extent, help alleviate impact of dropping prices on EU farmers,” Chairman Siekierski says.
“However, even though comprehensive at first sight, the plan might very well fail to deliver if it is not accompanied with additional measures, including e.g. increase of intervention prices for dairy products, which are not up-to-date. But the aid from the package should also be used to help farmers in those EU regions that have been recently hit by extreme droughts,” adds the chair.
“Member states must also use all the instruments made available to them while ensuring that EU competition rules are adhered to. We cannot afford to wait anymore, the Commission and the Council must act now to stabilise all agricultural markets – and this is the message that we will be conveying to Commissioner Hogan when we meet him next week,” says Mr Siekierski.
“But we also need to look at ways to stabilise our agricultural markets in the long-term. We need a more responsive safety net and new market instruments that would help to tackle price volatility and market instability. The upcoming review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be a good moment to discuss how we can update and expand crisis-related market measures, on the basis of Parliament’s proposals from the last CAP reform, which were, regrettably rejected by Member States,” the Agriculture committee chair concludes.