Parliament approves trade support measures for Ukraine and protects EU farmers

© European Union 2024 - Source : EP-168659G Photographer: Michel CHRISTEN
"The extension of trade support measures reaffirms the EU's solidarity with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression," said Sandra Kalniete.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted in favour of extending the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian agricultural products for another year, until 5 June 2025, to support the country amidst Russia’s continuing war of aggression. 

Since 2016, the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which includes the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, has been instrumental in granting Ukrainian businesses preferential access to the EU market. In response to Russia’s aggression, the EU introduced autonomous trade measures (ATMs) in June 2022, allowing duty-free access for all Ukrainian products to the EU. These measures, initially extended by one year in 2023, have now been renewed for another year with additional safeguards to protect the EU market.

During negotiations, the Council and Parliament introduced further measures to safeguard EU farmers. Under the new regulation, the Commission has the authority to swiftly impose any necessary measures in the event of significant disruption to the EU market or the markets of one or more EU member states due to Ukrainian imports (e.g., wheat). As part of these reinforced safeguard measures, the Commission can activate an emergency brake for particularly sensitive agricultural products, including poultry, eggs, sugar, oats, groats, maise, and honey. If imports of these products exceed the average import volumes recorded in the second half of 2021 and all of 2022 and 2023, tariffs can be re-imposed.

As part of the agreement on these new rules, the Commission pledged to launch talks with Ukraine on permanent trade liberalisation soon and keep the Parliament closely engaged in the process. The council will now have to approve the regulation formally. The current trade measures expire on 5 June 2024, and the new regulation should enter into force immediately following this date.

“The extension of trade support measures reaffirms the EU’s solidarity with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. This vote will simultaneously strengthen the economic resilience of Ukraine and protect the interests of European farmers. We will keep our promises – we will support Ukraine until its military victory and accession to the EU and NATO,” said Sandra Kalniete (EPP, LV), rapporteur for the file.

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