EC crisis package slammed as being “neither bold nor decisive”

The new farm crisis package unveiled by the European Commission (EC) on Monday this week was neither bold nor decisive according the chair of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee, Czesław Adam Siekierski.

Challenging the EC to find fresh money for farmers and calling for more long-term measures, Mr Siekierski (pictured above) said the latest aid package, while a step in the right direction, still wasn’t enough. He also criticised the EC for being “quite late” in its response.

“It seems that the Commission has focused more on prolonging existing measures than on seeking new solutions,” said the committee chair. “We expect more to be done and we expect it now.”

He was also critical of the way in which several members states had so far failed to use existing EU support to help their own producers.

“The Commission is not alone in not reacting properly to the agriculture crisis,” said Mr Siekierski, adding that several countries had failed to take “necessary actions” and so had not fully used the EU aid, to the detriment of their farmers.

In addition, in looking for longer-term, lasting solutions, he added: “We also have to start seriously talking about a more responsive safety net and new market instruments that would help to tackle price volatility and market instability in the future. We need to dust off Parliament’s proposals on the crisis-related market measures from the last Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform and consider updating the current market stabilisation and intervention tools within the CAP.

“We also need binding measures at an EU level to do away with unfair trading practices and introduce more balance into the food supply chain. The Commission, in fact, should table legislative proposals to this end now as we cannot afford further delays.”

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