As a result of the war in Ukraine, the European Commission adopted on the 23rd of March a communication, presenting a set of short-term and medium-term actions. They aim to ensure global food security and to support farmers and consumers in the EU. Following this decision, Ulrika Landergren, the Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) chairperson of the Committee of the Regions, gave her stance on the effects of the war on the Agri-food sector:
“[The war] threatens the food security of the world, destabilising already fragile agriculture markets, and provoking an increase in food and energy costs and fertilizer prices in the EU and globally.
The CoR welcomes the measures to guarantee food security in the EU announced at the meeting of the Agriculture & Fisheries Ministers on Monday, 21 March and in the Communication presented by the European Commission on 23 March. These include the implementing regulation on private storage in the pig meat sector, the mobilisation of the crisis reserve, suspension of the Temporary derogation for using set aside land and Temporary framework for state aid to ensure production capacity.
She also stressed the importance of food production at EU level to gain self-sufficiency in times of crisis and calls for environmental protection measures not to be neglected in the process:
“This crisis underscores once again the need for food autonomy in the EU. It is high time to start implementing lessons learnt during the Covid pandemic to enhance the resilience of our food systems, thus preserving production capacity at the European level. However, while it is important to preserve food production, related aspects such as biodiversity, greening and other environmental protection measures should not be neglected. Regions and cities can act as key players in the transition to more sustainable, resilient and healthy food system thanks to the know-how we possess and the richness of our territories. “
As local and regional authorities are crucial actors, NAT commission’s members of the CoR will debate the current situation on the EU agricultural markets during their next meeting on 31 March.