France also starts to lobby for restrictions on agricultural imports from Ukraine

Wednesday, 31 January 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron has begun to advocate certain safety measures against Ukrainian imports for those products that are particularly important to the interests of French farmers.

As reported by Politico, the ongoing violent protests by French farmers are pushing the "major players" in Macron's team to blame Brussels for some of the farmers' problems. 

Macron plans to raise some of these issues at the upcoming EU summit on 1 February, namely, "environmental" requirements for farmers and agricultural imports from Ukraine, as well as the future trade agreement with Latin America, which is in the final stages of preparation.

During his visit to Sweden, Macron confirmed that he would be asking for "some very specific things" for the interests of French farmers.

These measures include an exemption from the EU's requirement for farmers to leave part of their land unoccupied to maintain biodiversity, as well as restrictions on imports of poultry and grain from Ukraine. Supporters of such restrictions are also known to exist in several other EU countries, including Ukraine's immediate neighbours. 

On Wednesday, French Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau is to meet with Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium to discuss these issues. 

On Wednesday, the European Commission officially proposed to extend the suspension of import quotas and duties on Ukrainian exports to the EU for another year, while including safety measures for agricultural products, as demanded by several member states.

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