“European Commission admits €1 billion Mercosur farm fund does not currently exist” – Matt Carthy MEP
The European Commissioned has confirmed that it has not set aside any funds or designed a compensation payment for EU farmers affected by the Mercosur deal. The confirmation, which came in a response to a written question submitted by Matt Carthy MEP, will come as a surprise to many considering EU Agricultural Commissioner, Phil Hogan, had previously claimed his department had secured €1 billion worth of funds to assist farmers in the event the deal is signed.
Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament Agricultural Committee, commented:
“The European Commission has confirmed to me that, at this time, it has no details or concreate measures in place to provide supports to farmers adversely impacted by the Mercosur trade deal. In fact no decision has even been made on where the financing would come from.
“Four months ago, Commissioner Hogan announced that he had secured compensation support for farmers for the certain market disruption that would be caused by the enaction of this trade agreement. This was in response to the backlash from farmers and rural communities who had been sold out in the trade deal negotiations.
“The next European budget has not yet been agreed and the current commission proposal would result in a 15% cut to the CAP, in real terms. It is therefore completely untenable to suggest that the compensation fund would from within the CAP budget. So, where these funds could originate remains a mystery.
“It appears that Commissioner Hogan has also backtracked in recent weeks by stating that any aid would be delayed until the European Commission decides the impact of the deal.
“Mercosur is a bad deal for farmers, it is a bad deal for the Irish economy and it is a bad deal for the environment. It should not be supported under any circumstances. A once off compensation package of €1 billion would not offset the damage that Mercosur and other EU trade deals will cause vulnerable agriculture sectors such as beef. However, this confirmation reinforces my view that it is questionable whether farmers would ever see a cent of these supposedly ‘secured’ funds.
“This is simply the latest development that undermines any tenuous argument in favour of the EU Mercosur trade agreement. The Irish Government now needs to formally declare it’s rejection of its ratification and kill this dangerous deal right now”.
Question for written answer E-002496/2019
to the Commission
Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL)
Subject: Financial support for market disturbance caused by the Mercosur deal
On 29 June 2019, the Commission stated that EUR 1 billion of financial support would be made available to European farmers in the event of market disturbance following the EUMercosur trade deal.
Can the Commission clarify which budget line will be used in the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) for this new fund, which the Commission has indicated has been ‘secured’?
ENE-002496/2019Answer given by Mr Hoganon behalf of the European Commission(9.10.2019)
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) legislation provides the Commission the legal basis to take exceptional market support measures where need be. In the case that this need would emerge following market disturbances attributable to the Mercosur Agreement the EU is ready to support the concerned sectors financially. All the details about the concrete measures and their financing would be decided and described in due time.