Speaking today at the extraordinary Council of agriculture Ministers, Vice-President Katainen said: "This package will allow for €500 million of EU funds to be used for the benefit of farmers immediately. This is a robust and decisive response. This response demonstrates that the Commission takes its responsibility towards farmers very seriously and is prepared to back it up with the appropriate funds. This is particularly important, given other competing budgetary demands."
The focus of this response is threefold: (1) addressing the cash-flow difficulties farmers are facing, (2) stabilising markets and (3) addressing the functioning of the supply chain.
The Commission will propose that the most significant part of the comprehensive package will be provided to all Member States in envelopes to support the dairy sector. In determining the distribution of this aid, we will ensure that it is fairly distributed, targeted and effective, having particular regard to those Member States and those farmers which have been most affected by the market developments. The Commission's intention is to provide maximum discretion to Member States to reflect their specific situations.
Today's announcement should be seen in the context of considerable support already provided to the agricultural sector in response to the impact of the Russian ban and the level of support that the EU provides annually to farmers and rural communities, amounting to more than €50 billion.
The commitment to a market orientated approach is and remains the basis of the Commission's approach.
Link to the comprehensive list of measures: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-5601_en.htm
Link to full speech and market analysis: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-15-5600_en.htm