€500 million farm aid package announced

The farm aid package announced by the Commission (in the form of Vice-President Jyrki Katainen in the absence of Commissioner Hogan due to illness) at the extraordinary Agriculture Council yesterday exceeded the expectations raised by the Presidency background paper in a number of respects (the elements of which related to dairying I discussed in this post), but fell short of what some Ministers had sought and what the farm organisations deemed satisfactory. The Council’s conclusions can be accessed here.
In my view, the package is a measured response to the difficulties in some specific farm sectors and, indeed, the Commissioner has held his nerve in the face of demonstrations and protests.

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Hold your nerve, Commissioner!

An extraordinary meeting of the Agriculture Council will be held tomorrow Monday 7 September to discuss the difficult situation on agricultural markets. The Luxembourg Presidency has floated a number of ideas for discussion to address problems in the dairy, pork and fruit and vegetable markets, and the Commissioner is expected to table a package of measures.
Farmers will be out in force in Brussels to make their case for further assistance to the sector. In this post, I look at the options being discussed to address the dairy situation in particular. In a separate post, I examine the background to the milk market situation to explain why farmers will be protesting in Brussels tomorrow.

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The end of export subsidies?

Well, not quite. But with the publication of the final texts of the CAP political agreement last week we can now scrutinise the detail and fine print. Changes to the language on export subsidies in the single Common Market Organisation regulation go further than before in limiting the future use of export subsidies, without quite taking the final step of eliminating them altogether.
I previously discussed the EU’s use of export subsidies in this post last year. I highlighted both the sharp fall in the use of export subsidies by the EU, the high cost to taxpayers and citizens of using this instrument to support market prices and farm incomes and the growing political support for their abolition.

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