Ukraine may refuse EU subsidies to mitigate Green Deal requirements during negotiations – EuroMedia shutterstock

Ukraine may refuse EU subsidies to mitigate Green Deal requirements during negotiations – EuroMedia

Katerina Belousova

Ukraine may be entitled to €96.5 billion in subsidies

Ukraine is ready to consider abandoning European agricultural subsidies in exchange for easing the requirements of the European Green Deal during the EU accession negotiations.

This was reported to Reuters by a Ukrainian official on condition of anonymity.

It is noted that the integration of Ukraine's powerful agricultural sector into the EU is likely to be very sensitive from both a political and economic point of view. Ukraine may be eligible for €96.5 billion in subsidies from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy over seven years if the program is extended to new members of the bloc.

The official explained that new farming rules under the Green Deal could make farming more difficult than the absence of subsidies.

"It seems to me that the ideal negotiating strategy is to achieve less trade restrictions, less environmental restrictions (for Ukrainian farmers), and we are ready to trade that for subsidies," he said. "We have to protect our competitiveness, we don't should create bureaucracy that would stop development, especially in our conditions – for example, to get ten environmental certificates for some small thing."

The material said that farmers are currently protesting against the rules of the European Green Course in Europe regarding:

  • protection of animals;
  • use of pesticides;
  • of the need to leave 4% of agricultural land fallow, i.e. abandoned.

Farmers are demanding relaxation of strict environmental regulations, new subsidies and tax cuts to protect themselves from foreign competitors, including Ukraine.

In addition, according to the Financial Times, the payment of subsidies to Ukraine could lead to a reduction in agricultural subsidies for existing EU member states by approximately 20%.

It is noted that a number of Ukrainian farmers believe that joining the EU will provide access to large-scale subsidies that will increase their yields and bring more income. However, some officials say that subsidies can, on the contrary, play against Ukraine.

"I think this is a problem. Subsidies in agriculture very often play a bad role when they become a "painkiller" and get used to them, – said the Ukrainian official, adding that because of subsidies, farmers can become less dynamic. – When you live in system of subsidies, you are tied to them. If you have a subsidy for carrots, then you will plant only carrots."

Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that the authors of the EURACTIV article called for the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU from the "Energy and Climate" cluster, which would be a pragmatic approach to the bloc's development.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, the international working group on the environmental consequences of the war developed and presented the Environmental Compact for Ukraine (Environmental Compact), which is a road map for holding Russia accountable and restoring the environment.

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