Last week the Commission proposed at the July AGRIFISH Council meeting a further aid package for farmers worth €500 million of EU money (and up to €850 million if Member States take up the opportunity to add national financing). This brings the total additional EU financing to support farmers since 2014 to €1.5 billion. The money for the latest package comes from unspent funds in the CAP budget and does not involve making use of the crisis reserve. In his address to COMAGRI outlining the package the following day Commissioner Hogan thanked President Juncker and the budget Commissioner Vice-President Georgieva for their support in making the package possible.
Today, we are pleased to present a guest post by Lars Brink who is affiliated with the Global Issues Initiative at Virginia Tech University and a leading expert on domestic support issues in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.
Domestic support and Bound Total AMS (Aggregate Measurement of Support) may not be high priority items, compared to market access, in terms of analysing trade distortions. Still, anything that touches on farm support and limits on such support attracts attention. This may apply also in a case of Brexit negotiations. This note is about the WTO domestic support commitment of the United Kingdom in case of a Brexit.
In Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, nine-year old Oliver, fed up with the miserable gruel he and the other boys in the parish workhouse were given, walks up to the master and asks for more. The next day, there was an announcement on the workhouse gate offering five pounds to anyone willing to take Oliver off the hands of the parish.
The UK, it seems, also wants more from the European Union, not only access to the single market but also exemption from the free movement of labour. It has put not one, but two Olivers, to work on this request.
Over on the ARC2020 website, they are having a debate on the #MilkCrisis to which I was asked to contribute. Below is my contribution to that debate.
“The weighted average milk price for the EU-28 in May was 26.6 c/litre, a price last seen during the last trough in the price cycle in 2009 when the milk price bottomed out at 24.39 c/litre. The reasons for the current downturn are well known.
Global dairy product prices reached record levels in 2014. EU milk prices reached a record high of 40.2 c/litre in the winter of 2013/2014, averaging 37.3 c/litre over the 12 months in 2014.