Sunday

25th Jun 2017

EU prepares compensation for farmers hit by Russia sanctions

  • An EU compensation plan for farmers hit by Russia's import ban will be discussed at a meeting with government officials on Thursday (Photo: Andrew Stawarz)

EU officials will this week draw up a plan to compensate farmers if they are hit by Russia’s ban on food exports.

Agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos cut short his summer holiday to set up an expert panel last Friday (8 August) tasked with looking at the potential impact of the export ban ahead of a meeting with representatives of EU governments on Thursday.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“We are looking at precisely what is involved but also the potential impact looking at all products,” commission spokesman Roger Waite told reporters on Monday.

“By Thursday ... we will be in a position to have a clearer picture”, he added.

Moscow imposed the year-long ban on EU produce last week in the latest round of its tit-for-tat sanctions battle over Ukraine.

The import ban also applies to the US, Canada, Australia and Norway, although Iceland was exempted.

For its part, the EU recently imposed its toughest sanctions yet on Vladimir Putin’s government, including restrictions on food imports and financial assets, after it continued to support Ukrainian rebel groups believed to have been responsible for shooting down Malaysian flight MH17 last month.

Figures from the EU’s statistical agency Eurostat suggest that the move will cost Europe more than €12 billion in lost exports, which represents around 10 percent of total EU agricultural sales outside the bloc.

But it will also hit Russian consumers, since EU produce accounts for over 40 percent of Russia’s food imports.

The bloc’s common agricultural policy gives the commission a €420 million cash reserve that could be used to compensate farmers, but officials are refusing to jump the gun on whether the fund will need to be tapped.

“We still feel we are a little bit too soon to be discussing exact amounts,” said Waite, adding that “we can support farmers if there are problems but we have to assess what the impact is”.

“European exporters have lost one market but we can’t say that we won’t be able to export to other markets [to replace Russia]”.

The Commission also announced emergency measures to prop up Europe's peach and nectarine growers, which it said had been hard hit by unfavourable weather conditions, and would face additional pressure resulting from the import ban.

Ministers from Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland have already stated their intention to request compensation for their farmers from the EU executive.

Russia imposes retaliatory sanctions on EU

Moscow is slapping a ban on EU-imported fruit and vegetables and food from the US in retaliation for western economic sanctions. Meanwhile, 20,000 Russian soldiers are stationed on the Ukraine border.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Macron hold symbolic joint press conference
  2. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  3. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  4. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  5. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  6. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  7. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  8. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit