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Parliamentary questions
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21 May 2019
E-001311/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001311/2019

From the beginning of the Russian ban until June 2018, the Commission took emergency measures for the most affected agricultural products, notably dairy and fruit and vegetables (F&V). These measures helped producers to cope with market pressure and stabilise prices.

The EU granted EUR 522 million of aid to EU producers of F&V, corresponding to withdrawals of 1.8 million tonnes. Poland was the main beneficiary of these measures(1).

The Commission has continued to invest heavily in efforts to find alternative markets for EU F&V, by tackling sanitary and phytosanitary barriers, promoting EU products abroad and by seeking further market access openings of these products in trade negotiations.

The Commission regularly assesses the market situation. EU agri-food sector has shown a remarkable resilience and most of the affected sectors were able to find alternative markets. During the time needed for outlet diversification, the Union helped farmers in the most affected sectors with a series of measures that altogether amounted to some EUR 1.7 billion in total between 2014 and 2018.

EU sanctions against Russia remain under constant review. The European Council has linked the duration of the economic measures to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. Any decision to prolong, amend or lift sanctions is for the Council to make. Since 2014, the economic measures have been renewed every six months by the Council acting by unanimity. The Commission continues to defend its trade interests in relation to Russia, including the case taken in the World Trade Organisation challenging the measures to ban imports of pig meat products.

Total EU cereals imports during the last five years average around 11 million tonnes per year, of which only 6% originate from Russia. During the first 7 months of the marketing year 2018/2019, cereals imports have reached around 19 million tonnes, with Russia representing 7% of the total.

The increase of imports mainly concerns common wheat and maize and is due to the 2018 drought that affected cereals harvests in the EU. These imports helped to alleviate the difficult situation of the livestock sector.

(1)51% of EU aid share — 45% of EU quantities share.

Last updated: 23 May 2019Legal notice