Fernand Etgen Calls for Increasing National Aid Cap to €30K as Market Situation Remains Tense

Fernand Etgen

Luxembourg’s Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection, Fernand Etgen, has stated that the market situation remains extremely tense and worrying at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council held in the Grand Duchy on Monday.

Farmers installed 37 tractors outside Place de l’Europe in protest as Member States called for clear and concrete signals from the Commission. However, the recent Brexit news has meant that the Commission has not yet set budgetary margins although it has been made clear that a return to quotas is not on the table.

With the situation being different for each country or even in various regions, Luxembourg has requested more flexibility for Member States and an increase of the de minimis national aid cap from €15,000 to €30,000. Fernand Etgen reaffirmed the need for European solutions and for the EU to stay together.

Commissioner Hogan announced plans to offer a package of measures at the next Council on 18 July 2016 for which he intends to release funds. However, these measures still imperatively require addressing the problem of increasing milk supply. In his conclusion, and at the request of a large number of delegations of which the Grand Duchy was one, the Presidency asked the Commission to consider revising the de minimis threshold in its development of the package.