On 1 August 2014, Russia enforced an embargo on EU agricultural imports, stopping almost 50% of them immediately. EU producers have been hit hard and have had to shoulder the burden of the ban, the reason for which lies far from the realm of agriculture, yet punishes Europe’s farmers nonetheless.
Despite the Commission’s swift response to the shock to the EU market caused by the ban, it should not be forgotten that the situation is still ongoing and therefore close attention should continue to be given to the issue. In this context, and while many EU producers – especially young ones – are still in the investment and development phase of their enterprises, CEJA believes that appropriate market measures should continue to be deployed, particularly for those sectors hardest hit.
The situation of those in the dairy sector is even worse considering the scale of the final super levy fines for the EU producers who went over quota in 2014 – it is essential that these fines are not additional burdens on top of those already caused by Russia’s actions. CEJA calls for measures to facilitate the payment of these penalties, for example through installments.
In order to stand up to Russia in the face of this agricultural embargo, it is of utmost importance that all EU Member States keep a united stance on the issue, acting with one voice and displaying unity and solidarity in the face of Russian hostility.