EU in Brief: French call for review on EU market intervention
France is seeking a review of EU market intervention rules to benefit dairy farmers.
France is pushing the Commission to look at the price thresholds at which it intervenes to aid struggling farmers in the cereals, rice, sugar, beef, pork and olive oil markets, which it says haven’t been changed in 15 years.
During the last year, the Commission has tripled the amount of milk it buys up in intervention, but it hasn’t touched the price thresholds.
EU agriculture ministers are in talks about changing the legal form of the rules — known in EU jargon as the regulation on common market organisations — but they are not touching the content. If there is no agreement on the issue by next February, the rules become null and void, meaning market intervention would cease to exist.
Hogan's Brexit trip home
Phil Hogan will be under a different kind of pressure this week on a trip to Ireland.
He is in Dublin on Thursday to address the Oireachtas European Affairs Committee, ostensibly about the “State of the Union 2016” but, in reality, to assuage fears about Brexit.
He will not deviate from the Commission’s mantra that “there can be no negotiation without notification” by the UK of its official decision to leave the bloc.
His boss, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, has forbidden any preliminary talks with the UK before that letter is sent. But there was consternation in Brussels at the indications by Prime Minister Theresa May that she would seek to take the UK out of the single market and the customs union, the ‘hard Brexit’ option.