CZ/SK verze

Romanian Farmers Challenge Ukrainian Imports Amidst EU Funding

Romanian Farmers Challenge Ukrainian Imports Amidst EU Funding
photo: RAILTARGET Archive/Romanian Farmers Challenge Ukrainian Imports Amidst EU Funding
17 / 10 / 2023

Romanian farmers have expressed concerns regarding Ukrainian imports, pushing for an import ban on cereals and oilseeds. In a move that indicates their growing unease, they forwarded an official letter to the EU Commission head, Ursula von der Leyen, on October 13th, signed by four prominent farming organizations.

This call for action comes despite Romania's previous efforts to maintain an open market for Ukrainian goods, refraining from extending the earlier import ban post-mid-September and implementing a special licensing regime for imports.

In parallel, the European Commission has unveiled a 24 million euro package earmarked to bolster the infrastructure connecting Ukraine and Romania. These funds, predominantly focused on Romanian sea and inland ports, aim to remedy capacity challenges, enhance short-distance freight transport equipment, and expand storage capabilities. An excerpt from the EC document highlights the objective to streamline grain transport via Romanian ports, which are witnessing an uptick in goods traffic, thus necessitating immediate support. It also mentions that the aim is "to overcome the shortcomings of the capacity of the ports' superstructure, among others for the procurement of equipment for short-distance transport of freight and the extension of storage capacities for temporary storage."

Although Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu and Agriculture Minister Florin Barbu are collaborating with Ukraine to refine their mutual export control strategy, the simultaneous communication of the farmers' letter and the EU funding suggests potential contention. The intent behind the fund is to amplify transport infrastructure, but it might not align with the farmers' plea for reduced imports. The ongoing Romanian-Ukrainian export discussions might face complications if the farming sector's pressure continues, making the reinstatement of the import ban a potential outcome.