The president of France’s largest farmers’ union issued a stark warning on Wednesday, stating that Ukraine’s potential accession to the European Union (EU) would be “catastrophic” for agriculture in Europe.
The European Commission recently recommended the initiation of accession negotiations for Ukraine and Moldova to join the EU, while also granting Georgia the status of a candidate country for EU membership.
In an interview with local newspapers affiliated with the “Fensia” group, Arnou Russo, the president of the “Fensia” union, expressed his concerns, saying, “In the context of the war, it is very difficult to comment on this issue because you are immediately accused of not supporting Ukraine.
However, from a purely agricultural perspective, Ukraine’s accession to the European Union would be a disaster for European agriculture.”
Russo went on to explain that Ukrainian agriculture “does not adhere to the same standards” and represents “the equivalent of one-quarter of European agriculture,” especially in the poultry and field crops sectors. He also highlighted that Ukraine has significantly lower environmental and production standards compared to Europe.
The French Minister of Agriculture, Marc Vissneau, is set to visit Ukraine on Friday and Saturday at the invitation of his Ukrainian counterpart, Mykola Solskyi.
According to the French Ministry of Agriculture, this visit aims to reaffirm France’s support for Ukraine in the agricultural sector, strengthen bilateral cooperation, and address common areas of interest.
The debate surrounding Ukraine’s potential accession to the EU has garnered significant attention, with various stakeholders voicing their opinions and concerns. While political considerations and diplomatic relations play a crucial role in this decision, the impact on European agriculture remains a key point of contention.
As discussions and negotiations unfold, it is clear that the agricultural sector’s interests and concerns will continue to be a focal point in the broader conversation about Ukraine’s potential EU membership. The French farmers’ union’s warning serves as a reminder of the complex issues at stake and the need for careful deliberation.