France calls for urgent EU aid for its agricultural sector in crisis – EURACTIV.com

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French Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume has multiplied calls for help from Brussels to cope with the effects of the current health crisis. In other words, the milk, meat, fruit and vegetable sectors cannot wait much longer. EURACTIV France report.

Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, France has launched several calls to the European authorities for the implementation of urgent measures to support the agricultural sector.

These European support mechanisms, provided for by the common agricultural policy (CAP) in the event of acute difficulties on the agricultural markets, have still not been activated by the European Commission, despite repeated calls from France and other Member States from the EU and the farming community.

The coronavirus crisis has damaged a number of sectors that are struggling to sell their stocks because France has decided to close grocery stores and catering, but also the outdoor markets as part of its containment measures.

However, as an important outlet for local sales, local markets could be reopened in France, following the request of the Minister of Agriculture on April 12, who considered that if the health security measures were respected, the local authorities should encourage the reopening of markets.

For the time being, the closure of local commercial outlets and export problems have had a particularly serious impact on the dairy, fruit, vegetable and sheep-goat sectors.

Repeat call

Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume recalled the need to activate “the instruments (…) intended to respond to acute crises like the one the EU is currently going through”.

During a meeting with the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, Tuesday April 14, the French Minister once again underlined the request “made by several member states to quickly trigger private storage in the dairy, sheep and goat sectors , goat and calf; and the activation of market measures for the fruit and vegetable sector. “

Aid requests to the horticultural and viticultural sector were also discussed.

France’s regular requests follow those made by representatives of the agricultural world since the start of the crisis.

The federation of French farmers’ unions, the FNSEA, regretted that the European Commissioner for Agriculture “has not yet expressed his willingness to listen to this subject”, while the sector counts “on the European budget and on European measures, “said FNSEA President Christiane Lambert.

On Wednesday 15 April, the European Commissioner is due to debate agricultural issues with MEPs in the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee. While Wojciechowski should mainly discuss support measures for different agricultural sectors, he should also clarify his position on the different requests.

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