Thursday, 7 February 2019

Ceisteanna (205)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

205. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the funding provided by the European Union to support farmers and the agricultural sector in member states affected by the Russian embargo in each of the years 2011 to 2018, in tabular form; the countries that received such aid; the sectors in this regard, respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6229/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

A general ban on the importation of agrifood products was imposed by the Russian Federation in August 2014 on countries (including the EU) which had adopted sanctions against Russia in the context of the situation in Ukraine. Although partially lifted (since 1 June 2016) in respect of imports of beef, poultry and vegetables intended for use in baby food manufacturing, the overall ban remains in place until 31 December 2019.

The European Commission, with the help of EU member states, has closely monitored the different markets affected by the ban and has taken a range of emergency measures, notably for the dairy sector and for fruit & vegetables that are designed to help producers address market pressure, stabilise prices and find alternative sales opportunities.

According to Commission data, in the case of fruits and vegetables, the last emergency measures were phased out on 30 June 2018. From the time the ban was introduced, the EU granted €500 million of aid, corresponding to withdrawals of 1.7 million tonnes, to EU producers of fruit and vegetables. In the period up to July 2017, the total aid requested amounted to €452 million , in respect of 1.6 million tonnes of fruit & vegetables.

Fruit & Veg - Main Member states concerned are

MS

Tons

Poland

53894

22 342 826

Spain

44367

12 016 402

Belgium

27786

3 270 188

Greece

18499

9 527 301

Italy

14967

7 467 822

Netherlands

8415

2 057 455

In the case of the dairy sector, specific aid was granted to the Baltic States, which were particularly exposed to the impacts of the Russian ban, as follows (again, according to data available from the European Commission):

ms

mios €

Estonia

6.9

Lativa

7.8

Lithuania

14.07

More generally, October 2015 saw the European Commission and Member States agree a support package to help farmers most affected by on-going market difficulties, which had been caused by a number of factors including the effects of the Russian ban. Allocations totalling €420 million were made to Member States to support the dairy and livestock sectors in particular, with flexibility for Member States to decide how to target this support. Figures from the Commission on the breakdown by Member State are as follows:

Member State

Allocation (mio€)

Member State

Allocation (mio€)

Belgium

13,050

Latvia

8,452

Bulgaria

6,009

Lithuania

12,632

Czech Republic

11,156

Luxembourg

669

Denmark

11,103

Hungary

9,505

Germany

69,234

Malta

120

Estonia

7,562

Netherlands

29,937

Ireland

13,734

Austria

7,005

Greece

2,258

Poland

28,947

Spain

25,257

Portugal

4,764

France

62,900

Romania

11,146

Croatia

1,182

Slovenia

1,368

Italy

25,018

Slovakia

2,464

Cyprus

355

Finland

8,986

Sweden

8,221

United Kingdom

36,072

Additionally, in July 2016, the European Commission agreed a further solidarity package worth €500 million, which included provision for a milk production reduction scheme, conditional adjustment aid, and extension of public intervention and aids for private storage schemes.

Further to that, in order to help boost exports to alternative markets outside the EU, the European Commission has increased promotion funds from €142.5 million in 2017 to €188.5 million in 2018 and €200 million in 2020. Promotion policy rules set out how EU funding can be used for information and promotion initiatives both inside and outside of the EU.

Member State

Allocation

Member State

Allocation

Belgium

10 979 636

Latvia

9 760 362

Bulgaria

5 809 941

Lithuania

13 298 661

Czech Republic

10 346 106

Luxembourg

560 115

Denmark

9 294 305

Hungary

9 543 566

Germany

57 955 101

Malta

100 092

Estonia

8 081 123

Netherlands

22 952 419

Ireland

11 086 327

Austria

5 863 491

Greece

1 683 910

Poland

22 670 129

Spain

14 665 678

Portugal

3 988 059

France

49 900 853

Romania

10 896 083

Croatia

1 517 133

Slovenia

1 145 506

Italy

20 942 300

Slovakia

2 062 803

Cyprus

297 165

Finland

7 521 715

Sweden

6 881 425

United Kingdom

30 195 996

I have consistently urged the European Commission to intensify its contacts with the Russian authorities with a view to lifting its embargo. While efforts to secure real engagement from the Russian authorities will continue, the broader task of securing alternative market outlets for EU food products will also continue to be progressed.