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European Parliament calls for the EU to diversify its food imports

25 March 20222 min reading

European Parliament calls for immediate and substantial food aid to Ukraine and for the EU to make its food production more independent.

A resolution on the need for an urgent EU action plan to ensure food security in and outside the EU following the Russian invasion of Ukraine was adopted in European Parliament on Thursday with 413 votes in favour, 120 against and 49 abstentions. In the text, MEPs call for immediate help in the form of food supplies for Ukraine, and for a reboot of the EU’s food production strategy.

Given the severe impact the Russian attack on Ukraine will have on food security for Ukrainians, Parliament calls for robust long-term humanitarian food aid for Ukraine from both the EU and at the international level. The EU should also open food corridors to and from Ukraine, serving as an alternative to closed Black Sea ports. Ukrainian farmers should also be provided with scarce seeds, fuels and fertilizers.

EU MUST DIVERSIFY THE SOURCES OF ITS FOOD IMPORTS

MEPs say the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have made it apparent that the EU needs to reduce its dependence on imports from too few suppliers. They call for a diversification of supply from third countries, and demand in the short term that the EU Commission assess how to cushion the impact of high fertilizer prices on farmers. To reduce the dependence on fertilizer imports in the long term, Parliament proposes a switch to alternative organic sources of nutrients for agriculture and support for agricultural innovation.

NEED FOR EU TO BOOST DOMESTIC AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

Given the disruption to agricultural imports, MEPs demand domestic food production be increased. Agricultural land should be used only for the production of food and feed. To address immediate needs, MEPs want it to be possible for farmers to use fallow land for the production of protein crops in 2022. The Commission should also provide support for worst-affected sectors and should mobilise the crisis reserve of €479 million. Member states should also, according to MEPs, be allowed to grant broad, rapid and flexible state aid to operators on the agricultural market.


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