Motion for a resolution - B9-0162/2022Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the need for an urgent EU action plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

16.3.2022 - (2022/2593(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Herbert Dorfmann, Siegfried Mureşan,
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0160/2022

Procedure : 2022/2593(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on the need for an urgent EU action plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine




The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and Ukraine,

 having regard to the statements on Ukraine by the European Parliament’s leaders of 16 and 24 February 2022,

 having regard to the statements by the President of the European Council and the President of the Commission of 24 February 2022 on Russia’s unprecedented and unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine,

 having regard to the European Council conclusions of 24 February 2022,

 having regard to its resolution of 1 March 2022 on the Russian aggression against Ukraine[1],

 having regard to the UN General Assembly resolution on Aggression against Ukraine, adopted on 2 March 2022,

 having regard to the Versailles Declaration issued by the EU Heads of State or Government during the informal meeting held on 10 and 11 March 2022,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 12 November 2021 on the contingency plan for ensuring food supply and food security in times of crisis (COM(2021)0689),

 having regard to Article 39 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Russian Federation launched an unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022;

B. whereas the Council of the European Union has adopted an initial series of sanctions against Russia, including targeted individual sanctions, economic and financial sanctions and trade restrictions, and continues to prepare further sanctions in close coordination with transatlantic allies and other like-minded international partners;

C. whereas the damage to civilian infrastructure in Ukraine has included the Black Sea ports, resulting in a complete blockage of trade by sea, preventing exports of vital agricultural products to different regions, including the European Union;

D. whereas the war on the ground in Ukraine has also led to the suspension of oilseed crushing operations and to the introduction of export licensing requirements for some crops, and is preventing the internal movement of goods, particularly food, feed and other agricultural products, creating considerable food scarcity in Ukraine and a lack of stocks available for shipping to other countries;

E. whereas the Russian Federation and Ukraine are among the most important producers of agricultural commodities in the world; whereas the two countries combined account for around 30 % of the world wheat market;

F. whereas according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in 2021, either the Russian Federation or Ukraine (or both) ranked among the top three global exporters of wheat, maize, rapeseed, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, while the Russian Federation stood as the world’s top exporter of nitrogen fertilisers and the second leading supplier of both potassic and phosphorous fertilisers;

G. whereas the FAO estimates that the global supply gap that would result from a sudden and steep reduction in grain and sunflower seed exports by the two countries could push international food and feed prices well above their already elevated levels;

H. whereas the EU not only imports wheat, but also exports it, especially to the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, to which around 6 million tonnes of wheat are exported annually;

I. whereas the FAO’s simulations suggest that if the conflict results in a sudden and prolonged reduction in food exports by Ukraine and the Russian Federation, the global number of undernourished people could increase dramatically in 2022 and 2023;

J. whereas the priority of the European Union and the Member States is to ensure food security and food accessibility for all; whereas the European Union also has a special responsibility for international food security, in particular in the Mediterranean countries;

K. whereas the EU must not only become more independent in strategic areas such as defence or energy supply, but must also be able to ensure food security at all times by increasing its production capacity in sectors where we are highly dependent on imports; whereas this crisis proves that food security cannot be taken for granted; whereas European food production should be considered as a strategic sector;

L. whereas the European Union is founded on the principles of solidarity and if we do not act now, it is the most vulnerable who will suffer the greatest consequences;

M. whereas this crisis has both direct and indirect effects on the agri-food sector, its direct effects linked to the interruption of commercial exchanges with Russia and Ukraine, and its indirect effects linked to the volatility of prices and production costs;

N. whereas, in the wake of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union is pursuing the strengthening of strategic value chains, including the agri-food chain; whereas it is necessary to encourage European production of agricultural commodities in order to ensure continuity in the agri-food supply chain during times of crisis;

O. whereas the increased price of energy, fuels, raw materials and agricultural products is having a major impact on the agri-food sector, causing a severe increase in production costs which is jeopardising production continuity and might lead to supply chain disruptions; whereas Russia announced a suspension of exports of mineral fertilisers on 4 March 2022 as a result of its invasion of Ukraine;

P. whereas prices for fertiliser raw materials are at historically high levels; whereas the use of processed manure could reduce fertiliser costs for farmers;

Q. whereas the proper functioning of the European single market is a precondition for ensuring food security; whereas the Hungarian Government has recently decided to ban all grain exports as a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in violation both of its Treaty obligations and of EU solidarity;

R. whereas the depletion of animal feed stocks will have severe consequences for many breeding farms;

S. whereas the agri-food sector has not yet recovered from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit pig meat and poultry producers particularly hard;

T. whereas meeting the Farm to Fork goals of sustainable production, distribution and consumption will lead to a reduction in the productivity of arable lands in the European Union in the years to come; whereas the future food security of the European Union is directly linked to the ambitions of the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Green Deal; whereas these ambitions must not lead to an increase in our dependence on imports from third countries, thereby jeopardising our food security;

U. whereas the development of new biological plant protection products and protein-based biocontrol solutions have the potential to improve the health status and yield of crops, and can complement or substitute agricultural chemical products;

1. Condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against and invasion of Ukraine, as well as the involvement of Belarus in this aggression;

2. Demands that the Russian Federation immediately terminate all military activities in Ukraine, unconditionally withdraw all military and paramilitary forces and military equipment from across the internationally recognised territory of Ukraine, and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders;

3. Expresses its undivided solidarity with the people of Ukraine, who have already suffered through eight years of war in their country, and condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s actions against Ukraine;

4. Expresses its inconsolable grief about the tragic loss of life and human suffering caused by the Russian aggression and stresses that attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure as well as indiscriminate attacks are prohibited under international humanitarian law and therefore constitute war crimes;

5. Welcomes the swift adoption of sanctions by the Council with the aim of persuading the Russian Federation to cease its attacks against Ukraine; insists, however, in light of the latest attacks, including those against residential areas and civilian infrastructure, on the need to adopt additional severe sanctions;

Food security must be the EU’s priority

6. Calls on the Commission to take the necessary steps to protect EU agricultural businesses with supporting measures in order to create both certainty and more guarantees to maintain and, where necessary, increase food production by European farmers;

7. Calls on the Commission to review the targets and timetable for certain initiatives under the European Green Deal, notably the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy, so as to ensure that their application does not result in a loss of the productive potential of the EU’s agri-food sector, and that it does not jeopardise European food security;

8. Calls on the Commission to suspend any new legislative initiatives, particularly in relation to the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, which would lead to a reduction in agricultural production, in particular with regard to the revision of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive, nature restoration targets and supply chain due diligence;

9. Maintains that the objectives set out in the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies must be analysed on the basis of a comprehensive impact assessment of European food security and of the situation in neighbouring countries, and insists that the Commission take these impact assessments into account; urges the Commission to take into account the impact assessments already published by internationally recognised research institutes in this context;

10. Considers that in light of the current market circumstances, the ambition of a 10 % reduction in production areas cannot be implemented;

11. Calls on all Member States to implement food waste prevention programmes, stressing the urgency of reducing food waste and highlighting that the focus should be on the prevention of food waste and food loss, as averting food loss amid food supply shortages may contribute to consolidating food security;

The urgent need for a holistic action plan to ensure food security

12. Stresses that the EU is the world’s biggest importer and exporter of agri-food products; points out that in order to increase the long-term resilience of our agri-food systems, the EU should undertake steps to decrease our dependency on third-country imports of energy, primary goods, chemicals and chemical products; highlights that short- and medium-term solutions to ensure food security include the diversification of supply from third countries, and calls on the Commission to examine possible supply sources that meet the EU’s international sustainability standards, and either enter into new bilateral agreements or strengthen existing ones;

13. Calls on the Commission to anticipate potential Russian countersanctions that might affect the agri-food sector, such as those imposed in 2014, and identify and open new markets to redirect exports of food products;

14. Calls on the Commission to present an EU action plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU based on short-, medium- and long-term actions;

15. Calls on the Commission to carry out monthly market analyses of the state of agricultural markets by sector, in particular of prices, quantities and supply chains; welcomes the Commission’s use of the newly created permanent European Food Security Crisis preparedness and response Mechanism, bringing together experts, both public and private, in the agri-food sector; calls on the Commission, however, to communicate the content of these discussions to Parliament so that it can benefit from all the information needed to manage the crisis;

16. Recalls that the dramatic increase in fertiliser prices, which will have a major impact on the agri-food sector as whole, predates the Russian invasion of Ukraine; stresses that these prices will continue to rise, as they are linked to natural gas prices; urges the Commission, therefore, to start lifting the anti-dumping duties on fertilisers produced in third countries; regrets, furthermore, the fact that the Commission did not mention the specific case of fertilisers in its communication of 8 March 2022 entitled ‘REPowerEU Joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy’ (COM(2022)0108);

17. Notes that in order to reduce our dependence on chemical fertilisers, alternative organic sources of nutrients should be utilised to the fullest extent as soon as possible; calls on the Commission to address the legislative and practical barriers to the realisation of this solution to our dependency on third-country imports of chemical fertilisers and resources;

18. Calls on the Commission to raise the limits for the application of nitrogen from animal manure, such as recovered nitrogen from manure, or RENURE, in line with fertiliser limits; calls on the Commission to consider both a temporary derogation to quickly reduce the cost of fertilisers and to work towards a long-term framework in order to enhance circularity on farms and decrease dependence on third-country resources;

19. Highlights the need for a strategy involving sustainable intensification that would allow increased production output with fewer inputs;

20. Expects the Commission to address, in its report to Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the common fisheries policy, the need to achieve economic, social and employment benefits, and to contribute to the availability of food supplies; urges the Council to engage in a political debate on the common fisheries policy, its implementation and its reform;

21. Expresses its serious concern about the steep increase in operating costs sustained by the fisheries sector; points out that many vessels across the Union are currently moored, as the first-sale fish prices do not cover the increased production costs;

Ensuring the proper functioning of the internal market in agri-food products

22. Insists that the proper functioning of the internal market must be guaranteed with regard to agricultural products and that export bans to other Member States must be avoided; asks the Commission to be particularly vigilant in this regard and to take immediate action against Hungary’s imposition of an export ban on cereals;

23. Draws attention to the need to monitor and enforce fair competition conditions in the internal market with regard to unjustified price increases for certain food products; stresses the need to step up the monitoring of possible situations in which some companies may create a monopoly in the internal market in the agri-food sector, and highlights the need to take measures to counteract any such developments without delay;

24. Calls on the Commission to consider measures to prevent speculation related to price increases of agri-food products;

Enabling EU farmers to deliver food security via the common agricultural policy and other forms of support

25. Calls on the Commission to give Member States the flexibility to temporarily allow agricultural production by farmers on Ecological Focus Areas, making use of plant protection products and fertilisers if necessary;

26. Calls for the measures against market disturbance provided for in Article 219 of the CMO Regulation to be implemented without delay to support the sectors most affected;

27. Calls on the Commission to be prepared, if necessary, to take further exceptional market measures under the CMO, such as activating Article 222, to make it possible to put in place arrangements to better match supply and demand;

28. Calls on the Commission to mobilise private storage aid for the most affected sectors in order to temporarily reduce the effects of the short-term oversupply of certain commodities, in particular in the pig meat sector, which has already been suffering for several months owing to historically difficult market conditions;

29. Calls on the Council and the Commission to urgently release the crisis reserve of EUR 479 million to aid the agricultural sector in coping with the current market challenges; notes, however, that this crisis reserve, once depleted, cannot be replenished with funding from the common agricultural policy; calls, therefore, for the immediate release of additional funds ready to be mobilised in the event of the crisis reserve being used up;

30. Calls on the Commission to support sectoral organisations in order to secure new import markets that guarantee food supply and agricultural inputs, especially for livestock, and thereby to avoid putting food security in Europe at risk;

31. Calls on the Commission to propose a comprehensive European protein strategy in order to increase European protein production and reduce the Union’s dependency on third countries in this regard;

32. Calls on the Commission to allow a more flexible application of the common agricultural policy requirements in 2022, including advance payments to producers and an increase in the share of advance payments from 50 to 70 %;

33. Calls on the Commission to take all necessary measures, in particular with regard to State aid, to allow broader support to the sectors most affected by the crisis;

34. Calls on the Commission to consider amending the State Aid Temporary Framework adopted in March 2020 in order to allow Member States to use full flexibility under the State aid rules to support the economy;



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35. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and to the Commission.


Last updated: 16 March 2022
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