Romania’s Iohannis wants Commission to revisit EU aid for ‘abandoned farmers’
The European Commission must review the amount of aid it intends to send Romanian farmers for the ‘huge sacrifices’ they made to facilitate the export of cheap Ukrainian grain into the EU, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said ahead of the EU summit on Thursday.
Romania, along with Bulgaria and Poland, facilitated the transport of Ukrainian grain through so-called solidarity lanes established by the EU, though farmers struggled to compete with the tariff-free grain from arriving in the EU.
To compensate for the losses, the Commission has decided to grant Romania €10 million from the agricultural reserve – a far cry from the €200 million farmers are requesting and a lot less than the €29.5 million and the €16 million that will be allocated to Poland and Bulgaria respectively.
It is very small, given the “huge sacrifices” Romania made to help Ukrainian grain exports reach the EU, Iohannis added.
“It is regrettable that such ultra-bureaucratic approaches call into question the good faith of the European Commission,” said Iohannis, adding that the Commission bases its calculation on Agriculture Ministry data but does not negotiate with anyone.
Iohannis asked the Commission to review the situation, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen saying her office would review the figures for Romania.
The Commission’s proposal will be discussed by EU agriculture ministers and will be voted on at the meeting of the Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets on 30 March.
(Oana-Carmen Zamfir | EURACTIV.com)