Pressure on EU as seven states facing superlevies
Pressure is mounting on the EU Commission to alter its dairy policy after it emerged that seven member states are facing superlevy fines.
While just Holland, Denmark and Cyprus exceeded their national quota and had to pay fines last year, this number looks set to more than double this year.
A quarterly report on the EU dairy market showed that Austria, Belgium, Lithuania and possibly Ireland -- as well as the same three countries from last year -- look set to exceed their national quota at the end of this month.
There is mounting concern among some member states at the Commission's refusal to budge on the question of milk quota allocation or the level of superlevy fines.
Some countries, including Ireland, want national milk quotas increased by more than the 1pc annual increments agreed under the CAP health check. They have also sought a reduction in the superlevy fine which is currently set at 28.5c/l.
However, a Commission spokesman maintained that there were no plans to change the current EU dairy policy.
He explained that the latest estimates showed that 6pc of milk quota for the EU 27 would be underused.
Any moves to lower the level of the superlevy fine would be late for the 2011/12 milk quota year, the spokesman added.