A group of 13 member states, including Croatia, sent a letter to the European Commission in which they express concern about the measures it has recently adopted to appease the dissatisfaction of members bordering Ukraine due to excessive imports of Ukrainian grains.
Some of the five member states bordering Ukraine unilaterally banned imports of Ukrainian grain in April, saying cheap Ukrainian grain threatened their farmers’ incomes.
The Commission responded to this with a proposal for aid of 100 million euros to the farmers of those countries and a temporary ban on Ukrainian grain to those countries, except for transit to other member states.
In the letter that Hina had access to, it is said that these measures were adopted non-transparently and without any consultation with the member states.
The signatories of the letter say that they understand that the import of Ukrainian products, especially grain and rapeseed, could destabilize the markets in those countries and lead to a decrease in the income of their farmers.
However, they point out that unilateral import bans undermine the single market and that uncoordinated measures undermine the credibility of EU support for Ukraine as well as efforts to ensure global food security.
The letter was signed by the ministers of agriculture of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain.
The signatories of the letter say that the measures adopted by the Commission on May 2 “without consultation with Member States”, which refer to the selective restriction of imports from Ukraine, raise serious questions because they introduce different treatment within the single market. Therefore, the question arises as to how similar cases will be treated in the future, the letter states.
Commission spokeswoman Miriam Garcia Ferrer confirmed on Friday that they had received the letter and said that the Commission had informed the other member states of the agreement with five countries, neighbors of Ukraine, on the temporary ban on the import of Ukrainian grains to those countries.
On May 2, the European Commission adopted a “temporary, preventive measure” until June 5 banning the import of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower from Ukraine into five EU member states, with the provision that these products will still be able to pass through these countries and be in free circulation in all other member states and continue to export.
At the same time, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have pledged to lift the unilateral measures they adopted banning the import of wheat, corn, oilseed rape and sunflowers from Ukraine. Romania did not introduce unilateral measures.
Last year, the EU temporarily, until June 5 of this year, abolished customs duties on all imports from Ukraine. It is a measure that greatly helped the Ukrainian economy in the face of the devastating consequences of the war.
At the end of April, EU members supported a one-year extension of the regulation according to which the EU abolished customs duties on Ukrainian grain. Now it needs to be confirmed by the European Parliament and then by the Council of the EU.
The abolition of customs duties on Ukrainian products caused a drop in the prices of these products in some member states, which led to the dissatisfaction of domestic producers.
It also caused logistical problems, among other things for speculative reasons as companies stockpiled cheap Ukrainian goods while waiting for better prices on the market.
Source: Osijek Express