[REPONSE] Parlement européen, Question E-002782/2020 avec demande de réponse écrite de Massimo Casanova (ID) du 6 juin 2020 – Mesures urgentes pour le secteur agricole et horticole

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Texte de la question :

« The flower and ornamental plants sector employs around 760 000 people in the EU. The current crisis concerns not only the production and sale of flowers as ornamental plants, but also nurseries, which produce plants used for the cultivation of trees, fruit and vegetables and other crops.

This production is vital for the supply chain, rural work and our food security. Horizontal measures to deal with the temporary unemployment that is the result of the crisis are not adequate, as the sector requires the constant presence of workers in the nurseries.

The horticultural sector, which in Apulia alone is worth some EUR 200 million, has been asking the Commission for days for measures to offset the losses caused by the disposal of the unsold products, as well as to restore the proper functioning of the single market.

1. Since the announced measures concerning the withdrawal from the market of agricultural products are insufficient, including in terms of current available funds, how does the Commission intend to address this emergency?

2. Does it not think it should support the measures needed for the agricultural and horticultural sector by drawing up a specific plan, as it has done for other crisis-stricken sectors, based on budgetary resources outside the current agricultural policy? »

Réponse donnée par Mr Wojciechowski au nom de la Commission europénne le 26 juin 2020 :

« A number of measures (1) have already been taken at EU level to help Member States mitigate the general social and economic consequences of the outbreak of COVID-19. The Commission adopted a Temporary Framework setting out the possibilities for Member States under State aid rules to support the economy and allowing Member States to channel up to EUR 100,000 to individual farmers facing liquidity shortages (2). To support the agri-food sector(3), exceptional measures including a derogation for the flowers and plants sector from competition rules under Article 222 of the common market organisation (CMO) Regulation (4) were adopted.

Rural development support can be used to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission also put forward on 30 April 2020 a proposal to modify the Rural Development Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 (5) by including a new measure allowing Member States to pay a lump-sum to farmers and small agri-food businesses affected by the crisis. It is now for the Council and the European Parliament to endorse this measure.

As regards drawing up a specific plan for the horticultural sector, the Commission considers that the horizontal support measures referred above will allow Member States to bring relief to flowers and plants producers while in the meantime the progressive removal of restrictions related to the pandemic will allow the sector to recover its business activity.

(1) ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response_en

(2) The aid of up to 100,000 EUR per undertaking active in the primary production of agricultural products may be topped up by ‘de minimis’ aid specific to the agricultural sector with a ceiling of EUR 20,000 (and EUR 25,000 in specific cases)). Member States may also support undertakings active in the processing and marketing of agricultural products with State aid of up to EUR 800,000, which may equally be cumulated with ‘de minimis’ aid. See Temporary State aid Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, C(2020) 1863 final, as latest amended on 8 May 2020, OJ C 164, 13.5.2020, p. 3–15.

(3) ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_788

(4) Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 (OJ L347, 17.12.2013, p. 347).

(5) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013

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