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03 May 2016 | Online since 2003
Scrutton Bland


15 August 2014 06:10:06|

EU member states meet over Russian sanctions


The European Commission held an exchange of views with Member States this morning on the potential impact of the Russian sanctions announced last week on imports of certain agricultural products.
Understanding the concerns of EU farmers across Europe, Commissioner Dacian Ciolo? stated: "I have two announcements to make today. First, as of early next week, I will come forward with the next market stabilisation measure, targeting a number of perishable fruit and vegetable products which are now clearly in difficulty. This action will be proportionate and cost effective.

Secondly, this exceptional situation we face as a result of Russia's ban requires faster and better access to market data, sector by sector. That is why we are putting in place as of today a reinforced market monitoring mechanism to which all Member States will contribute. Meetings with Member States will take place on a weekly basis, for a period as long as necessary.

My message is again clear: I am prepared to propose EU wide measures as and when needed. Producers from across the EU can be reassured. We are following every sector and every market and as material risks emerge, I will act. Through the reformed Common Agriculture Policy we have the budgetary and legal instruments for European action together with the Member States; market confidence through European solidarity is the overriding objective."

EU producers are in this together and we intend to respond to the market situation step by step and factually, as things evolve. Based on today’s additional information, we intend to come forward with the next new measures early next week. We have today established closer cooperation with Member States to monitor the evolution of the markets, taking into account the specificity of each market and the actual market situation and we are ready to come forward with further measures as the situation develops, on time, in a proportionate manner and in a communitarian spirit.”

DG AGRI presented its initial analysis about traditional trade patterns, the current market situation in different sectors, potential alternative sales outlets, and therefore the potential impact of these measures in broad terms. However, the Commission still needs to receive the most up-to-date information to fully assess the market situation in most sectors, and therefore called on Member States to provide the latest detailed market data. Moreover, in order to follow the evolution of the situation as closely as possible, the Commission proposed that there should be weekly meetings with the Member States for the coming months in order to monitor and discuss the situation of all sectors that are affected, in addition to the permanent ongoing written communication.

The Commission presented today a preliminary analysis of the main sectors included by the Russian measures – fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat products. Member States also presented certain figures and commented on the sectors most likely to be worst affected.

The meeting agreed that the situation is the most urgent for certain perishable vegetables hit by the ban, where the season has already begun and a key export market has suddenly disappeared with no immediate prospect of an obvious alternative. Based on the new information received today from the Member States, the Commission confirmed that it would come forward with appropriate new measures at the beginning of next week. Further measures targeting animals products are being considered.

The Commission announced its intention to finalise a full analysis of the potential impact of the Russian sanctions on the EU sectors concerned – together with an assessment of the potential policy responses – as soon as possible. This will be presented to Member States and the European Parliament in order to facilitate further political discussions on the subject.

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