MEASURES AND IMPACTS RELATED TO THE COVID-19 CRISIS: EU measures’ introduction
The widespread crisis caused by the Covid19 pandemic continues to have major impacts on economic sectors, including agriculture, and to give rise to decisions at national and Community level.
The European Parliament and the Ministers of the Member States require the European Commission, in addition to the technical and administrative measures adopted, to resort to market intervention measures (intervention, storage) and exceptional measures that the CMO Regulation allows.
Until now, the Commission has mainly left it up to the Member States to act and to find funding if they so wish (state aid and recycling of Rural Development funds for countries which have not fully used them).
On 22 April the Commission opened up the benefit of Article 222 at Community level to the milk, flowers and potatoes sectors (capacity of producers or sectors to agree on the volumes to be marketed in particular). It is thus taking up the challenge of giving farmers responsibility at national level for restoring a balance between supply and demand on the European market.
At the same time, it announces the introduction of European private storage aid measures to encourage the temporary withdrawal of quantities from the market in the milk and meat sectors (beef, sheep and goat) and flexibility for the implementation of national programmes in the wine, fruit and vegetables and olive sectors.
Regarding the “farm to fork” and “biodiversity” strategies, which are due to be presented on 29 April, Frans Timmermans said there would be no major delay, of the order of “a few weeks at the most, but not a few months”. Also asked about the content of the F2F strategy and the ambition to reduce pesticide use, he replied that it would be “a solid proposal,” as biodiversity and pesticides are closely linked issues.
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