Friday

19th Jan 2018

EU farming crisis to stay 'for some time'

  • Hogan (r): "I am constrained within the limit of my resources" (Photo: European Commission)

EU states have proposed over 100 initiatives to help the European farm sector recover from the “long-lasting, profound crisis”, EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan said Monday (7 March).

But he warned members of the European Parliament's agriculture committee in Strasbourg that the crisis is “still likely to be with us for some time to come”.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“The market is still in a very difficult situation,” he said, adding that recovery has been slower than previously thought.

Hogan asked MEPs for input a week ahead of a ministerial meeting aimed at deciding EU-wide measures. He said the EU actions need to be within the legal framework of the EU's agriculture policy, must recognise the constraints of the budget, and command a “broad support” among member states.

“I am constrained within the limit of my resources. You and I have to agree that every year,” he told MEPs. “I'm also limited by the legislation. I try to work within the tools I've been given.”

The Irish politician reminded MEPs of the €420 million of direct aid the EU made available to farmers last year.

“Some of these amounts have not yet been given out. So there are resources out there,” he said, adding that only 10 of 28 member states have implemented last year's measures.

Next Monday, farm ministers will gather in Brussels to discuss the situation in agricultural markets and to decide on European steps.

MEPs in the agriculture committee said many European farmers are struggling.

“This is not people crying wolf, this is now families in serious danger of losing everything they have,” said British Conservative MEP James Nicholson.

A prominent Green MEP from France, Jose Bove, said that 600 French farmers had committed suicide out of despair. He persuaded his fellow MEPs and the commissioner to commemorate them in a moment of silence.

While some MEPs said they had hoped Hogan would have been more concrete, the commissioner noted that he did not want to present any package before having spoken to the parliament.

He will now use the coming week to come up with proposals and present them at next week's ministerial, he said.

The Dutch EU presidency is also assessing the various proposals that have come in.

Falling prices, especially in the dairy and meat sector, prompted protests by farmers in February in France, the EU's largest agricultural producer.

Farmers last September also clashed with police during protests in the EU capital, Brussels.

EU deregulation of the milk industry, which came into effect in March last year, is part of the reason for the trend. Russia bans on EU exports of dairy products, pork, and sea food, also prompted lost income.

Agriculture ministers accept Commission aid plan

Most of the EU's agriculture ministers were cautiously optimistic about the EU Commission's €500 million aid package for Europe's struggling farmers, after receiving additional details.

Visual Data

EU farming policy: The damage done by 20 years of inertia

The EU Commission will ask the public later this week how the common agricultural policy should be overhauled. Data from the past two decades reveals a catalogue of missed chances and failed reforms.

EU farm chief questions own milk scheme

The EU just ended milk quotas. On Monday it reinstated them on a voluntary basis after prices crashed. But the EU commission itself doubts the new scheme will work.

News in Brief

  1. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  2. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  3. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed
  4. Bad loans in EU decrease to 2014 levels
  5. UK demand for EIB loans dropped in 2017
  6. EIB president: Juncker fund has worked
  7. Moscovici calls for more transparency on tax havens list
  8. Commission proposes VAT overhaul

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia
  2. Taking full benefit of supercomputers in Europe
  3. Spitzenkandidat system 'difficult to get rid of', hopes lead MEP
  4. Rights NGOs face fresh threats across the EU, agency says
  5. EIB 'more sensitive' to fraud after Dieselgate, chief insists
  6. EU 'hypocrisy' condemns people to Libya, says NGO
  7. Next year's EU election at risk of Russian meddling
  8. Hungary to tax NGOs that 'help' migration