The Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament has approved the extension of measures for trade liberalization to support Ukraine and Moldova. Specifically, the decision to extend the agreement with Ukraine was passed by a majority vote – 26 committee members voted in favour, 10 opposed, and one abstained. The relevant announcement has been published on the European Parliament website.

According to the proposal, the temporary suspension of tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian agricultural exports to the EU will be extended for another year, from June 6, 2024, to June 5, 2025.

Simultaneously, the legislation empowers the European Commission to “take swift measures and implement any necessary actions in case of significant disruptions in the EU market or in the markets of one or more EU countries due to Ukrainian imports.”

As a result of a separate vote, 28 committee members supported the suspension of all import tariffs from Moldova for another year, two voted against, and six abstained.

It is expected that the European Parliament will endorse this position during the first reading at the plenary session next week. Subsequently, the Council of the EU will officially approve the regulation, which will come into effect after publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

Commenting on the European Parliament committee’s decision, Ukraine’s Trade Representative Taras Kachka noted that just a week ago, over 100 amendments were submitted to the proposal by the European Commission in the agricultural and trade committee, almost all of which sought to restrict Ukrainian product access to the EU market.

“Through active work with member states – primarily Poland, with Euroinstitutions and MEPs, we managed to reduce the number of amendments voted on to two. And they did not garner enough votes,” Kachka said.

Recall that in February, the permanent representatives of EU member states agreed on the EU Council’s mandate to negotiate a proposal aimed at extending the suspension of import tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian exports for another year.

In early January, the European Commission officially proposed to extend the suspension of import quotas and tariffs for Ukrainian exports to the EU for the next year, including safeguards for agricultural products, as demanded by some EU countries.

Source: The Gaze