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Agricultural crisis: €500m aid package not enough, say MEPs

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milch cows during milking at barn stall in farmThe Commission's €500 million aid package revealed last week is a step in the right direction but it might be not enough to get farmers struggling with falling prices back on their feet, many MEPs told Commissioner Phil Hogan in a debate on Wednesday (16 September). Crisis management instruments should be improved, and the position of farmers in the food supply chain strengthened, said MEPs. Some also ask the Commission to immediately increase intervention prices to tackle the current crisis.

Commenting on the content of the aid package outlined by Commissioner Hogan and the outcome of the informal Agriculture Council on Monday, many MEPs called for new market measures to tackle price volatility and further support for farmers to find new foreign outlets.

Several MEPs blamed market-oriented policies for the current crisis and called for tools to manage supply, particularly when it comes to the milk sector, while others insisted on structural reforms that would simplify the Common Agricultural Policy and boost the competitiveness of EU farmers on the world market. Some also called for €900 million raised from former “super levy” fines paid by farmers who exceeded their quotas under the quota scheme abolished in April 2015.

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