Brussels has proved powerless to restrict the inflow of Ukrainian agricultural products into the EU and to protect European farmers, State Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development of the Ministry of Agriculture said in Luxembourg on Monday.
Speaking to Hungarian journalists after the meeting of the agriculture ministers of the European Union Member States, Zsolt Feldman stressed that countries facing difficulties with the inflow of Ukrainian agricultural products and food repeatedly called on the European Commission to take measures to direct Ukrainian products to their original destinations in Africa and the Middle East.
He stated that the solidarity lanes established for the transport of Ukrainian agricultural products are not fulfilling their role. It is no coincidence that Hungary was forced to maintain the national import ban at its discretion, through which at least Hungarian farmers can be protected.
He emphasized that when it comes to rail and road transport routes, the most essential for Hungary would be to take measures preventing Ukrainian agricultural goods from being blocked on its territory and allow them to reach ports in the Adriatic or the North Sea, and then their original destinations. To this end, Hungary has already proposed the introduction of a transit fee subsidy and has asked for infrastructure improvements together with several other Member States, he recalled.
The State Secretary underlined that a new chapter has opened in the field of efforts that have been ongoing for almost a year since, for the first time, a Member State not neighbouring Ukraine, Austria, proposed the limitation of the inflow of Ukrainian agricultural products and food by using protective measures, and the introduction of a transit fee to protect the stability of the internal market. He pointed out: the Austrian comment draws attention to the extreme market disruption caused by the appearance of Ukrainian agricultural products and their destabilizing effect on the European market. If the situation is not dealt with, the expected domino effect will reach more and more European farmers and more and more other European Member State - he added.
He said that a new alliance could be formed with Austria, underlining the current situation as "particularly unfortunate" for the European agricultural structure as well as small and medium-sized farms.
We have been waiting for constructive proposals and European solutions for a long time. Still, Brussels has proved powerless to restrict the flow of Ukrainian agricultural products into the EU and protect European farmers. We urge EU action, but we also help our own farmers with our means," added Zsolt Feldman.
Source:MTI - Hungarian News Agency