Motion for a resolution - B9-0165/2022Motion for a resolution
B9-0165/2022

    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

    Gilles Lebreton, Mara Bizzotto, Angelo Ciocca, Julie Lechanteux, Joëlle Mélin, Elena Lizzi, Jaak Madison, Sylvia Limmer
    on behalf of the ID Group

    Procedure : 2022/2593(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    B9-0165/2022
    Texts tabled :
    B9-0165/2022
    Texts adopted :

    B9‑0165/2022

    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

    (2022/2593(RSP))

    The European Parliament,

     having regard to the Versailles Declaration of the Heads of State or Government of 10 and 11 March 2022 on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine,

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

     having regard to the statements on Ukraine by its Conference of Presidents of 16 and 24 February 2022,

     having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and Ukraine, in particular that of 16 December 2021 on the situation at the Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine[2],

     having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 637/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009[3],

     having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005[4],

     having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 352/78, (EC) No 165/94, (EC) No 2799/98, (EC) No 814/2000, (EC) No 1290/2005 and (EC) No 485/2008[5],

     having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007[6] (the CMO Regulation),

     having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 2 December 2021 establishing rules on support for strategic plans to be drawn up by Member States under the common agricultural policy (CAP Strategic Plans) and financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1305/2013 and (EU) No 1307/2013[7],

     having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/2116 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 2 December 2021 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013[8],

     having regard to its resolution of 20 October 2021 on a farm to fork strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system[9],

     having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[10],

     having regard to Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 laying down rules on the making available on the market of EU fertilising products and amending Regulations (EC) No 1069/2009 and (EC) No 1107/2009 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2003/2003[11] (the Fertiliser Regulation),

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

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

    B. whereas the Council has adopted an initial series of sanctions against the Russian Federation, including economic and financial sanctions and trade restrictions, that will impact EU and global food and feed security and sovereignty;

    C. whereas Ukraine and Russia mainly export raw materials such as agricultural products, potassium, phosphate, mining products, chemical products and machinery;

    D. whereas there is an urgent need to review the EU’s approach to food and feed security in order to reduce our dependence on imports and increase domestic production in the longer run; whereas this is particularly important for the products most at risk of shortages because of the suspension of Ukrainian and Russian exports, such as fuels, cereals, oilseeds, corn, protein crops and fertilisers;

    E. whereas the recent sudden and unprecedented rise in energy prices as a result of the conflict will not only affect food production, but also the EU’s and global population’s ability to afford nutritious food; whereas action must be taken to include food security in policy decision-making to avoid shortages in the most vulnerable developing countries, while giving priority to the use of agricultural products for food and avoiding obstacles in the international trade of food and feed;

    F. whereas to prevent the risk of a protein shortage, the Commission should promptly take all necessary steps to temporarily allow the use of plant protection products where effective on areas of ecological focus, but which are suitable for growing protein crops, for the duration of the crisis and until the market is back to normal; whereas further measures will be needed to support the use of innovative and sustainable production methods in these areas;

    G. whereas the measures against market disturbances provided for in Article 219 of the CMO Regulation should be implemented immediately to support the sectors most affected; whereas the crisis reserves should be mobilised for this purpose;

    H. whereas as increasing feed and production has become a priority, Member States should adapt their national strategic plans to these new circumstances, including by providing flexibility to increase the acreage of land under production;

    I. whereas small and medium-sized enterprises and their suppliers do not have the resilience of large companies; whereas their resilience is a major part of the resilience of the supply chain;

    J. whereas the extraordinary rural development COVID-19 measures should be extended to address the ongoing liquidity problems that put the viability of farming activities at risk and endanger the small businesses active in the processing, marketing or development of agricultural products;

    K. whereas the Commission’s objectives in the European Green Deal, Farm to Fork strategy, biodiversity strategy and Fit for 55 package will have a negative impact on production capacity and on European and global food security and sovereignty;

    L. whereas climate-related policies, and in particular Green Deal measures, have sometimes been instrumentally used to place much of the responsibility for climate change on farmers; whereas this approach may discourage farmers from responding to increased food needs and threats to food security in the EU and globally;

    M. whereas the European Food Security Crisis Preparedness and Response Mechanism, set up by the Commission Decision of 12 November 2021[12], met for the first time on 9 March 2022;

    N. whereas Russia has announced an embargo on agricultural, medical, tech, telecoms and electrical equipment exports until the end of the year; whereas Russia is by far the biggest exporter and Belarus is among the most significant exporters of fertiliser;

    O. whereas Russia is the biggest exporter of wheat and Ukraine is among the top five exporters; whereas Russia and Ukraine together account for 25 % of worldwide wheat exports; whereas almost half of the export volume of Russia’s wheat is imported by Turkey, Egypt and Bangladesh; whereas combined, Russia and Ukraine cover more than 70 % of Egypt’s imported wheat demand; whereas Nigeria, Yemen, Sudan and Senegal import significant quantities of wheat from Russia; whereas Ukraine contributes significantly to imports of wheat in Indonesia, the Philippines, Tunisia, Thailand and Morocco;

    1. Condemns, in the strongest terms, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia; extends its sincerest condolences to the victims of the conflict, particularly innocent civilians; calls for an immediate end to the conflict through continued diplomatic efforts, with the aim of finding a peaceful solution in the interest of Ukrainian, Russian and European citizens;

    2. Underlines that the EU’s agricultural sector stands to be hit hard in the coming weeks as it is squeezed between the kickback from sanctions on Belarus and Russia and reduced trade from Ukraine, which alone accounts for 19 % of EU wheat imports and 13 % of oilseed imports;

    3. Recalls that other crucial agricultural sectors in the EU will be impacted, such as the pig meat and seed sectors; stresses that the EU is an important importer of oilseeds, sunflower oil, corn and crops from Russia and Ukraine; stresses that most of the products that are currently subject to export restrictions by Russia and Ukraine are also subject to export restrictions – for different reasons – by some Member States and are part of feed for European livestock; emphasises that their absence will leave the sector with only a few weeks of autonomy, after which it may be necessary to reduce the amount of livestock;

    4. Urges the Commission to take strong action to help the EU’s agricultural sectors address the increase in the price of raw materials, such as fuel, potassium, phosphate, helium and fertilisers; urges the Member States to take measures to lower the cost of energy in their respective markets and support local food producers as much as possible to ensure adequate food production;

    5. Calls on the Commission to review the practice of setting aside agricultural land and revaluate the common agricultural policy’s green architecture and its application in nationals strategic plans, in the light of this exceptional situation, to allow flexibility to increase the acreage of land under production; calls on the Commission and the Member States to incentivise the use of all available agricultural land for the production of crops during the crisis;

    6. Calls on the Commission to assess, as a matter of urgency, the impact of all sanctions already taken by the EU against Russia, as well as the impact of Russian sanctions on the EU in the agricultural sector;

    7. Calls on the Commission to carry out a horizontal and comprehensive impact assessment on the measures taken in relation to the green transition and how they affect food security and production in the EU;

    8. Calls for the immediate implementation of ‘stress tests’ for all Member States on a sector-by-sector basis in order to assess the resilience of supply chains in the coming months;

    9. Urges the Commission to consider reviewing its level of ambition on the various issues that will impact EU agricultural production under the ongoing measures related to the European Green Deal; asks for the postponement of the Farm to Fork strategy’s environmental targets, with the aim of protecting European and global food security and food sovereignty; further calls on the Commission to extend the extraordinary COVID-19 rural development measures;

    10. Is concerned that this crisis will also have unpredictable consequences for North African and Middle Eastern countries, some of which trade significantly with Member States;

    11. Notes that a number of African and Asian countries, such as Turkey, Egypt and Bangladesh, rely heavily on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine; notes that these countries’ dependence on wheat imports and the predicted doubling of the African population by 2050 will have dire consequences for food security in the region, which, in turn, could result in uncontrolled migratory flows to Europe; emphasises that solutions for food insecurity have to be found in the region; calls on the Commission to monitor the food shortage situation in the most vulnerable Asian and African countries; calls on the Commission to ensure that any resources dedicated to these regions can be easily repurposed to alleviate possible shortages of food;

    12. Considers that the activation of private storage aid and the crisis reserve to help the European agricultural sector affected by this crisis should be taken into account;

    13. Calls for the principle of strategic food stocks at Member State level to be promoted by the Commission;

    14. Understands that some of the measures necessary to tackle the problems of food security may raise World Trade Organization compatibility questions; recalls, however, that the national security exception provided for in Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade may be invoked in special circumstances to allow such a course of action;

    15. Considers that serious food security problems in the EU could justify exceptional measures in relation to imports, exports and production and to the implementation of Article 222 of the CMO Regulation, with the aim of ensuring solidarity between Member States; considers that, as far as production is concerned, the EU could decide to ‘couple’ or ‘recouple’ part of the support granted to farmers under the common agricultural policy to boost agricultural output;

    16. Insists that the EU needs to help the affected Ukrainian population to prevent a possible shortage of agricultural raw materials over the coming months;

    17. Calls on the Member States and the Commission to closely monitor food security in Ukraine and participate in international humanitarian programmes to ensure an adequate food supply to and in the country; urges Russia to support such humanitarian efforts at the relevant UN bodies;

    18. Reiterates its previous calls to significantly reduce, if possible, dependence on other countries for raw materials, in particular potassium, phosphate, mining products and chemical products; invites the Commission, therefore, to genuinely consider, without any negative preconceptions, all possible steps to preserve and enhance the EU’s food security and sovereignty;

    19. Calls on the Member States to increase their resilience against future supply chain disruptions and urges them to take action to reduce food waste;

    20. Calls on the Commission to assess the impact of implementing the Fertiliser Regulation with an in-depth evaluation of availability and prices, bearing in mind that technical requirements are expected to apply from 16 July 2022; calls on the Commission to prepare a legislative proposal to postpone the regulation’s implementation if the impact is found to be significant;

    21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

     

    Last updated: 17 March 2022
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