Polish farmers impacted by Ukrainian imports to get over EUR 210 mln
The amount of EU and state aid paid to Polish farmers affected by increased agricultural imports from Ukraine will exceed PLN 1 billion (EUR 210 million), the EU’s agriculture commissioner has told PAP.
Janusz Wojciechowski went on to say that Poland has profited from free trade with Ukraine, though its farmers have lost out.
He explained that the aid would include PLN 600 million (EUR 128.26 million) in state aid to which the European Commission (EC) has agreed to the Polish government having a free hand on how the money is spent.
Added to this sum will be two tranches of EU aid, EUR 30 million already approved and a second payment still being prepared.
The commissioner also said that on Friday he had sent a letter to EC Vice-President, Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis, asking him to consider taking some form of steps to protect EU markets from high imports of Ukrainian grain as well as eggs and poultry.
"It is so that the situation is analysed by his service in terms of the possibility of applying protective measures," Wojciechowski said. "Such funds are included in the agreement liberalising trade with Ukraine from May 2022 but also stem from the EU association agreement with Ukraine from 2014."
Wojciechowski said the problem of increased agricultural imports from Ukraine affected five EU member states - Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania - and that he was doing everything within his remit to mitigate the problem, pointing out that he had already launched a EUR 56-million crisis reserve, of which almost EUR 30 million was for Poland.
He said the increased imports concerned mostly wheat, barley, maize, rapeseed, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil. He added that the growth in imports of these products stood at 8.7 million tonnes year on year in 2022, of which 3.3 million tonnes had come to Poland.