EU leaders express ‘deep concern’ over Mercosur

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

EU leaders express ‘deep concern’ over Mercosur

Related tags Beef Poultry

The leaders of Ireland, France, Poland and Belgium have written a joint letter to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressing their “deep concern” over the Mercosur deal and its potential effect on their respective agricultural industries.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, French President Emmanuel Macron, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel all signed the letter to Juncker.

In the letter sent earlier this week, it warned that the beef quotas offered to Mercosur from the EU would have a negative impact on the EU markets. The Mercosur deal is expected to be passed at the end of this month.

The letter said: “The import quotas currently negotiated for beef imports could threaten this fragile sector in our countries particularly against the background of the potentially dramatic and negative impact of a disorderly Brexit on EU markets.

“The cumulative effects of quotas negotiated in various trade agreements signed by the Union can ultimately destabilise production and the agricultural sector.”

It called on the EU to ensure certain measures are taken to “preserve the activity of farmers and protect the rural economy”,​ as well as guarantee quality products. The measures included: the quotas currently mentioned for beef, poultry, pork, sugar, and ethanol must not be increased further; guarantees concerning compliance with the sanitary, phytosanitary, animal welfare and environmental standards in order to have fair production conditions for all food products sold in the European Union and, in particular, for quality meat.

Other measures included that certification and control of quotas must be exercised on the importers side, i.e., on the European Union’s side, and a segmentation of quotas between high value-added beef parts and other parts must be achieved, ensuring that the import of high-quality parts is kept to a minimum.

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