Brussels, 22 August 2014
Commission Statement on today’s Expert Group meeting to discuss agricultural markets in the context of the Russian ban
Today’s Expert Group meeting provided the Commission and Member State experts with a further chance to discuss elements relating to the impact on EU markets of the Russian import restrictions announced two weeks ago.
On the emergency support measures for peaches & nectarines announced on August 11 (see IP/14/920) – and published in the Official Journal today – the Commission confirmed that the additional funding for peaches & nectarines is aimed primarily at withdrawals for free distribution, but will also cover withdrawals for “other destinations (e.g. composting, non-food use, etc).” The legal text will be amended in the coming days to this effect. The budget for these measures is €29.7 million for withdrawals and €3 million for promotion, allocated to Italy, Spain, Greece and France on the basis of annual production.
The Commission then presented the draft text for the emergency measures for perishable fruit & vegetables that were announced on August 18 (see IP/14/932) as the formal text will only be published next week. Most Member States welcomed the rapid response by the Commission and the measures to be implemented. There was then an extended discussion of the administrative arrangements to make sure these measures will have a rapid and efficient impact. The Commission insisted on the need to keep the measures simple, and underlined that the text already provides some safeguards to avoid that all the funds are taken up by a rapid response by one or other sector.
Finally, discussion dealt with the other sectors covered by the ban. The Commission confirmed that it is analysing the latest data and will not hesitate take any further emergency market support measures if necessary, notably for certain dairy products where an adverse impact is becoming obvious in some Member States. The next Committee meeting, next Thursday (August 28), will focus on the market situation for dairy and meat products.