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S&Ds in favour of continuing trade assistance to Ukraine in the face of Russian war


14 Mar 2024



In a sign of support for Ukraine, the Socialists and Democrats voted today in favour of continuing the EU trade benefits for Ukraine. 

However, following today's vote, the new regulation will still need to be agreed on with the Council during a trilogue procedure. The S&D Group is committed to finalise the negotiations on time, before the current measures expire, to avoid any disruptions. 

In response to the concerns expressed by the EU agriculture sector, the S&D Group is calling on the European Commission to increase financial assistance to the European farmers. 

Marek Belka, S&D vice-president responsible for international trade, and the shadow rapporteur on this file, said: 

"We are totally committed to extend the trade liberalization measure for Ukraine for the next year. Helping Ukraine is simply our moral obligation! Ukraine needs this support in its fight against the invaders, and for the reconstruction of its economy.

“We regret that due to a late delivery of this file by the EU Commission, we are put under high pressure to adopt the regulation in time. But I am sure we will reach the compromise with the Council, so there are no disruptions in access to the EU market for Ukrainian exporters.

“We welcome the new regional safeguard mechanism and the emergency tariff rate quotas on poultry, sugar and eggs in the new regulation, as proposed by the EU Commission. They are one of the reactions to the regional trade disturbances and farmer protests in the EU.

“However, the amendments adopted today to reinforce the safeguards for EU farmers reflects the growing concerns of the farming communities. The Commission must be ready to react swiftly to uncontrolled imports from Ukraine in the future."

Note to editors: 

The current EU trade liberalisation measures with Ukraine will expire at the beginning of June and should therefore be renewed as soon as possible to avoid any disruptions. 

The new EU regulation, as proposed by the EU Commission, includes safeguards measures for products, where exports from Ukraine to the EU have significantly increased, namely poultry, eggs, and sugar. If imports of these products surpass the 2022 and 2023 average volumes, tariffs will be re-imposed.