EU to provide €100m support to farmers and limit Ukrainian imports

The European Commission has confirmed an additional €100m (£88m) of support will be provided to EU farmers that have been affected by a large influx of Ukrainian grain imports.

This is on top of an earlier support package of €56m (£49m) already provided to the most affected farm businesses.

See also: EU condemns Polish and Hungarian bans on Ukrainian grain

The EC will also take preventative measures to limit imports from Ukraine, in particular for wheat, maize, sunflower and rapeseed.

Traditionally, a higher proportion of exports would have been shipped from Ukraine via the Black Sea.

However, disruption as a result of Russia’s invasion has led to more exports being transported over land through neighbouring European countries and led to domestic markets in some countries becoming flooded.

The EU was forced to take a stand after Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia imposed their own temporary import bans on Ukrainian agricultural goods during the past week, a move which the EU initially condemned.

“Solidarity Lanes” are being created to allow the passage of Ukrainian grain through Eastern European countries without their domestic markets being flooded.

EU president Ursula von der Leyen released a statement on Wednesday (19 April) outlining a plan  to mitigate the effects of Ukrainian imports on EU markets.

Ms von der Leyen stressed that in light of the single market and customs union a common European approach was needed to address these concerns.

An investigation will also be launched by the commission into other “sensitive” products.

EU executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis met with representatives from Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania to provide further detail on the support.

A statement released by Mr Dombrovskis and EU agricultural commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, said: “This proposed commission package includes a second tranche of agricultural financial support to affected farmers, exceptional safeguard measures on key products, and measures to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian grain exports via the solidarity lanes.

“The commission’s proposed package is subject to member states lifting their unilateral measures.”

Ukraine’s agricultural bodies have called for the unilateral restrictions to be lifted.

An appeal made by a group of Ukrainian agricultural associations stated that: “The introduction of restrictive trade measures by EU countries contradicts many international agreements, including WTO trade rules, EU rules on the common market, and the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU, and also undermines the postulates of solidarity lanes introduced by the EU.”