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Fidesz MEPs will not support or vote for proposals putting the livelihood of European farmers or safe and quality food production at risk, the ruling party’s MEPs said in a statement. Enikő Győri and Ernő Schaller-Baross noted the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) has adopted a proposal that would extend by another year the permission for Ukrainian products to enter the bloc without quality or quantity restrictions. “The expert commission of the European Parliament has failed farmers yet again,” they said. The negotiating committee had failed to fulfil its mandate from the EP, which last week called for automatic protective measures to be activated if too much wheat arrived from Ukraine, Győri said. The measure is in force on other products already, she noted.
Schaller-Baross warned that European farmers had seen their revenues plummet recently. “The EU is choosing surrender rather than competitiveness, exposing European farmers to the impossible expectations of a skewed market.” The proposal was “forced through” by left-wing parties and the backing of the majority of the European People’s Party, they said.
In July 2022, the EU suspended quotas and tariffs imposed on Ukrainian agricultural imports for a year, and extended that exemption by another year in 2023, the statement said. The measure had resulted in “serious disturbances” of the market as Ukrainian agricultural produce “flooded” neighbouring countries, the MEPs said. In May 2023, “the EC expressed its solidarity with the five member states along the [Ukrainian] border for four and a half months”, and allowed Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Romania to ban Ukrainian wheat, corn, sunflower seeds and rapeseed oil, they said. That measure was then scrapped by EC President Ursula von der Leyen on Sept 15, resulting in those countries introducing a unilateral ban to protect farmers, they added. The EC is now working to extend the exemption by another year, they added.