Thursday

8th Dec 2016

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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  2. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  3. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  5. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  7. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  8. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  9. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  10. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  11. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  12. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children

Latest News

  1. ECB reshapes its bond-buying scheme
  2. Digital content directive threatens app development sector
  3. EU says Greece fit to take back migrants
  4. MEPs back plan to 'revitalise' complex financial products
  5. EU offers Denmark backdoor to Europol
  6. EU nationals fighting for IS drop by half
  7. EU targets Germany and UK for not fining VW's emissions fraud
  8. Slovak minister defends EU presidency compromises