The European Commission has considered the requests of Hungarian farmers and a European Union level agreement has been signed concerning the ban on Ukrainian grain imports, the minister of agriculture said on Friday.
The ministry cited István Nagy as saying that Brussels had given in to pressure by the five member states of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, and recognised the severity of a market crisis that developed in the region. By applying an extraordinary protective measure, it will allow an import ban on several agricultural products from Ukraine to these countries as long as the current extraordinary market situation persists, he added.
The agreement applies to four products: wheat, maize, rape seeds and sunflower seeds, he said. The extraordinary ban in Hungary will end when a a new measure to be introduced by Brussels enters force, which will guarantee the continuity of the import ban, he added. It has been confirmed that the European Commission would propose extraordinary support of 100 million euros for the farmers of states that border Ukraine, to be distributed equally between them.
Nagy also said that the market disturbances will cease when Ukrainian grain can again reach the target countries in Africa and the Middle East on traditional routes.
The facts. Before the war, Ukraine was behind the EU tariff wall. Which meant that exporting goods to the EU tagged on excise and customs duties, making them more expensive (read: uncompetitive compared to EU goods).
After the start of the war, the European Union lifted the tariffs so Ukraine could export over land, as opposed to being dependent on the Black Sea routes. This means keeping the flow of foodstuffs going through the EU and the rest of the world (most significantly the Middle East and Africa). Unfortunately, there was unintended leakage to the EU markets, as well – our predicament.
The EU deal now is that Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania can keep four farm products that make up the overwhelming mass of exports from Ukraine out of their local markets. However, they must guarantee unfettered access to the rest of the bloc. Everybody happy, again.
For those opposed to the EU – a lesson as to how the EU works. It is a mighty trading bloc. You don’t want to be on the “other side”, regardless of how Sovereign this makes you. Ask Great Britain- not the UK since Northern Ireland finds itself in a peachy niche and now is a great benchmark for the damage of Brexit.