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Deal on the extension of trade preferences for Ukraine with new safeguards for EU farmers reached on time!

Date

20 Mar 2024

Sections

Agriculture & Food

Last night, the European Parliament negotiators reached a deal with the Council to renew the trade benefits for Ukraine by suspending import duties and quotas on Ukraine exports to the EU until June 2025.

The Socialists and Democrats welcome the agreement, which will help Ukraine and its economy amidst the Russian invasion, while taking the concerns expressed by the European farmers seriously. We were committed to finalise the negotiations on time, before the current measures expire at the beginning of June this year, to avoid any disruptions. 

The new EU regulation, as proposed by the European Commission, includes automatic safeguard 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. In the deal reached yesterday, the EP negotiators managed to extend the scope to cover four additional agricultural products: oats, maize, groats, and honey. Also, the timeline to act, before automatic safeguards are triggered, is reduced from 21 days to 14 days. Additionally, the Commission has committed itself to strengthen its monitoring of the wheat sector and be ready to urgently deploy safeguards.

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

"The late-night deal we have struck with the Council allows us to respond to farmers' concerns and sustain our support to Ukraine. 

"Following last week's vote in the plenary, we have taken on board these concerns to reach a balanced agreement. As with any good compromise, no one can be fully satisfied. I am confident that the European Parliament will support it in the plenary vote, so we can adopt the new regulation on time, before the current trade preferences lapse.

"As we said from the start, the S&D Group is committed to extend the trade liberalisation 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.”

Note to editors:

The deal reached last night will be put to vote in the INTA committee this afternoon, and then to the plenary in April.

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