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Parliamentary questions
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29 January 2019
E-000486-19
Question for written answer E-000486-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

 Subject:  Crisis in the Mediterranean countries' citrus sector — Possible unfair competition from countries such as Egypt, Turkey and South Africa — the safeguard clause for citrus fruits
 Answer in writing 

The data from the Spanish Ministry of Commerce is unequivocal: the cumulative increase in Egyptian citrus exports to Europe between 2014 and 2018 was 78.9%, with a total of 332 126 tonnes exported(1). Exports from Turkey increased by 18% to a total of 284 882 tonnes(2), while from South Africa, exports increased by 40%(3) (4).

More than 1.5 million tonnes of citrus fruit from these three countries alone have flooded Europe in recent years, competing with our citrus fruit. However, neither the labour, environmental and fiscal conditions, nor the health of the citrus plants in these countries, are the same as those in the European Union.

I imagine that the European Commission is aware of this situation(5) and that it wants to safeguard citrus fruit cultivation in Europe.

1. What data does the Commission have on the citrus fruits arriving in Spain and on the economic and environmental impact assessment of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and these countries?

2. What assurances can the Commission offer to guarantee that citrus fruit imports from these countries meet the same phytosanitary requirements as imposed on European producers?

3. What factual elements(6) would cause the safeguard clause(7) for citrus fruits from these countries to be triggered?

(1)http://www.revistamercados.com/noticia/la-importacion-europea-de-citricos-egipcios-aumenta-un-80-en-cuatro-anos/
(2)https://www.lavanguardia.com/local/valencia/20190124/454283857614/ava-pide-aplicar-clausulas-de-salvaguarda-a-los-citricos-de-egipto-y-turquia.html
(3)https://www.freshplaza.es/article/9065474/espana-piden-preparar-clausulas-de-salvaguarda-a-egipto-y-turquia-por-el-aumento-de-su-exportacion-citricola/
(4)https://www.freshplaza.es/article/9065497/espana-la-crisis-de-los-citricos-asfixia-al-campo-murciano/
(5)https://www.freshplaza.es/article/9065994/no-hay-pruebas-de-que-la-crisis-citricola-la-cause-la-importacion-de-terceros-paises/
(6)https://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/comunidad-valenciana/2019-01-24/naranja-citricos-sudafrica-comision-europea_1780234/
(7)https://www.20minutos.es/noticia/3545278/0/ava-asaja-unio-piden-bruselas-clausula-salvaguarda-para-citricos-reciprocidad-real-normativas/

Original language of question: ES 
Last updated: 14 February 2019Legal notice