Following its report in July, the European Commission has proposed a package of measures as part of its campaign to help dairy farmers in the European Union during the current market crisis. The measures aim to secure the short and long term future of the dairy sector and build on actions already taken by the Commission, such as an expected increase in annual spending of €600 million on market measures.
Short term measures include changes to State aid rules to allow Member States to temporarily offer aid to farmers under the Temporary Framework. In the coming weeks, Member States will be able offer up to €15,000 in aid to farmers as part of the initiative. Further changes to legislation will also be made to bring the dairy sector within an emergency framework that already exists for other farm sectors. Bringing the dairy sector within Article 186 of the Single Common Market Organisation will allow the Commission to take temporary action quickly and respond to future market disturbances more efficiently.
In the medium and long term, the Commission proposes to establish a working group of experts from Member States and the Commission to deal with matters ranging from the contractual relations between farmers and the dairy industry, good practice in terms of production costs throughout the European dairy sector and the possibility of a dairy futures market. The working group would also have input into the conclusions of the Commission report on the workings of the dairy sector supply chain, which is expected to be published before the end of the year.