EU Extends Duty-Free Access for Ukrainian Agricultural Products Amid Farmers Discontent

The European Union member states and the European Parliament have reached an agreement to extend duty-free access for Ukrainian agricultural products for an additional year from June, specifically until June 5 2025, while imposing reinforced restrictions to protect EU farmers.

The decision was taken with the aim to support Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, without compromising the EU’s agricultural market stability.

The agreement allows for “corrective measures” in response to significant market disruptions and enhances monitoring of grain imports. Import quotas for poultry, eggs, sugar, maize, honey, and oats will be based on average volumes imported from mid-2021 to the end of 2023. The arrangement does not include caps on wheat and barley, despite requests from several countries, including France.

This decision comes amid wide dissatisfaction among European farmers, who have been voicing their frustrations through protests across several countries, including Poland, France, and Belgium. The protests focus on EU environmental regulations and agricultural imports, which farmers argue negatively affect their livelihoods.

This provisional agreement needs final approval from both the European Parliament and the Council, with a plenary vote expected in April’s second part-session.