Commissioner Dacian Cioloş was in Vilnius today and held meetings with representatives of the Lithuanian agricultural and food sector, the Minister of Agriculture, Virginija Baltraitiene, and the European Affairs, Rural and Economic Affairs committees of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.
The Commission has today confirmed its intention to provide an additional €30 million of EU funding for CAP promotion programmes starting in 2015, on top of the €60 million that is foreseen annually in the CAP budget. As these schemes are co-funded, this change is likely to mean an additional 60 million EURO for promotion measures. Aimed at alleviating the impact of the Russian measures against certain EU agricultural products, this additional effort will start with the promotion programmes that need to be submitted by the end of September.
The European Commission has announced today that it will open Private Storage Aid for butter, Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) and certain cheeses in order to alleviate the impact of Russian restrictions on imports of EU dairy products and to limit the negative effects on the internal market. The Commission has also confirmed that the period for public intervention of butter & SMP will be extended until the end of the year.
In the context of Russian restrictions on imports of EU agricultural products, the European Commission is moving as from today to introduce support measures for certain perishable fruits & vegetables.
Commenting on the decision, Commissioner Dacian Cioloş stated: “Taking into account the market situation following the Russian restrictions on imports of EU agricultural products, with effect from today, I am triggering CAP emergency measures which will reduce overall supply of a number of fruit and vegetable products on the European market as and when price pressures become too great in the coming months. All farmers of the concerned products - whether in producer organisations or not - will be eligible to take up these market support measures where they see fit. Acting early will provide an efficient support to the price paid to producers on the internal market, help the market adjust and be cost effective."
The Commission held a very useful first exchange of views with Member State experts this morning on the potential impact of the Russian restrictions announced last week on imports of certain agricultural products.
Understanding the concerns of EU farmers across Europe, Commissioner Dacian Cioloș stated: "I have two announcements to make today. First, as of early next week, I will come forward with the next market stabilisation measure, targeting a number of perishable fruit and vegetable products which are now clearly in difficulty. This action will be proportionate and cost effective.
"I understand the concern expressed in the EU farming sector. I want to underline that the Common Agricultural Policy has new and modernised tools to stand by them, as soon as it is needed, including our crisis reserve, which is already available now. I am confident that our resilient farm sector will reorient rapidly towards new markets and opportunities.
But there must be support to help this transition happen smoothly. This requires a joined up, European response. I have spoken with Farm Ministers from across Europe, and in particular the Italian Farm Minister and Council President. In the current context, the most important is to react in a proportionate and rapid way should the situation arise.
Commissioner Dacian Cioloş, met today with the President of the COMAGRI, Czesław Siekierski and the coordinators of the political groups Albert Dess and Michel Dantin (EPP), Paolo De Castro (S&D), James Nicholson (ECR), Jens Rohde (ALDE), Martin Haeusling (Greens-EFA), Maria Lidia Senra Rogriguez (EUL-NGL) and John Stuart Agnew (EFDD).