- Fertilizer strategy: Between environmental protection and food security
- Food waste: Test run for citizen participation
- Northern Ireland Protocol: von der Leyen in London
- EU passes tenth sanctions package against Russia
- Scholz and Modi want to expand strategic partnership
- Boeselager criticizes Data Act Council draft
- Study: Intransparency in metal supply chains
- What’s cooking in Brussels: Iranian hour in parliament
An agreement on the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol is taking shape in the United Kingdom. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will travel to London today to hold talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The latter announced over the weekend that he wanted to bring the negotiations to a conclusion and summoned the Tory MPs to Parliament for Monday – where the agreement with the EU on Northern Ireland’s trade relations after Brexit could be announced today. Read more in our News section.
My colleague Timo Landenberger looks in his analysis at the ongoing debate about the availability of fertilizers in the EU. Food prices remain at a troublesome level; one of the main drivers is fertilizer. The agricultural industry and farmers’ associations expect yields to fall significantly this year if no appropriate countermeasures are taken. The EU Parliament now called on the Commission to implement far-reaching measures.
At the other end of the food production chain is consumption – and waste. 57 million tons of food are thrown away in the EU every year. The Commission wants to tackle this and revise the EU Waste Framework Directive. In the legislative process, it is relying for the first time ever on a novel form of citizen participation: It is incorporating the results of a citizens’ panel in which 150 EU citizens have over the past few months jointly drawn up recommendations. You can find out more about this in my analysis.
Fertilizer strategy: Between environmental protection and food security
The debate about the availability of fertilizers in the EU continues. Even though the inflation rate in the eurozone declined at the start of the year, food prices remain alarmingly high. Among the key drivers are the high input costs of food production, first and foremost: fertilizers. Without appropriate countermeasures, agribusiness and farmers’ associations expect yields to decline significantly this year. This could cause costs to skyrocket even further.
In a recently approved resolution, the European Parliament calls on the EU Commission to take far-reaching measures to secure fertilizer supplies, strengthen the EU’s strategic autonomy and reduce prices. The demands in detail:
- A long-term EU fertilizer strategy until June 2023
- End dependence on Russian mineral fertilizers and raw materials (particularly gas), without replacing them with new dependencies
- Use parts of the 2023 agricultural budget to provide financial support to farmers
- Extend the temporary suspension of anti-dumping duties on mineral fertilizers
- Examine a possible joint fertilizer purchase at the EU level
Fertilizers prices skyrocketed
The cost of chemical fertilizers has skyrocketed after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine a year ago. Russia and Belarus belong to the main export countries on the world market. Apart from that, natural gas is by far the most important production factor. At the end of last year, fertilizer prices in the EU were three times higher than in the previous year in some cases.
- Agricultural Policy
- Climate & Environment
- European policy
- Natural gas
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