EU to grant Estonian farmers €8.1m in emergency aid (1)
The European Commission presented a new package of measures on Monday worth €500m, including €8.1m for farmers in Estonia. The money will come from EU funds to support farmers in the face of ongoing market difficulties, particularly on the dairy market.
Monday’s announcement doubles up on a separate package of €500m presented by the Commission last September, and adds to a range of other measures such as the activation of a clause permitting voluntary agreements among producers on planning milk production, announced in March.
In terms of additional financial resources, the Commission in less than a year mobilized in excess of one billion euros in new money to support farmers.
The package contains three main elements. The first is an EU-wide scheme of €150m to incentivize a reduction in milk production.
The second is a conditional adjustment aid package to be defined and implemented at member state level out of a menu proposed by the Commission, consisting of €350m member states will be allowed to match with national funds. This could potentially double the level of support provided to farmers.
The third part of the package is a range of technical measures to provide flexibility, such as voluntary coupled support, cash-flow relief, an increase in the amount of advances for both direct and area-based rural development payments, and to reinforce existing safety net instruments by prolonging intervention and private storage aid for skimmed milk powder.
The Estonian share in the package is €8.1m, Latvia stands to get €9.8m, and Lithuania €13.3m. The biggest recipient of support will be Germany with €58m, followed by France with €49.9m.
As part of a seven-point solidarity package for agriculture, public intervention for the market of skimmed milk powder will be extended until the end of February 2017, when the standard period resumes. In addition, the package sets out advances of up to 70% of direct payments from Oct. 16, and 85% for area-based rural development payments.