AgMin Warns of Impact of Ukraine Accession on EU Farmers

Int’l Relations

Agriculture Minister István Nagy said the livelihoods of European farmers would be put at risk if Ukraine joined the European Union, speaking to journalists after a meeting of his EU peers in Brussels on Monday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Nagy said it was estimated that Ukraine would get close to 30pc of common agricultural policy (CAP) support as an EU member, while support for farmers in other member states, including Hungarian ones, would "significantly decline". European farmers can't compete with Western-owned agribusinesses in Ukraine farming hundreds of thousands of hectares, he added.

He noted that Ukraine's neighbors in the EU had rolled out unilateral measures to protect their markets from the impact of an EU exemption from customs duties and quotas on Ukrainian grain. The European Commission is now threatening Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia with infringement procedures because of those steps, he added.

Nagy said a discussion at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of new genomic techniques had failed to produce a consensus on an EC proposal on the matter. Hungary takes the position that more time is required to weigh the issue in the interest of food safety, he added.

He said the EC's proposal on scaling back chemical pesticides "across the board" would "seriously endanger" food security in the EU.

The EU farm ministers were in agreement on requiring honey labels to specify ratios according to place of origin, he added.

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