Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Why Poland agreed to the milk quota regulation in November 2009

You still remember the milk quota dispute we saw in October/ November between the EU member states?

In the summary of EU Council acts of November 2009 (published Monday) I found the following statement by Poland on the Council Regulation (EC) No 1140/2009 that deals with milk quotas and that was adopted by all EU countries (with the UK abstaining) in November:
"Poland decided to withdraw its objection to the proposed document for the sake of all Member States and because of the fact that its adoption is a condition required to launch an emergency package to the amount of EUR 280 billion.

However, it must be stressed that Poland continues to doubt the legitimacy of the proposed new rules for calculating the levy payable after exceeding the national milk quota in the case of Member States applying the milk quota buy-back mechanism. The submitted proposal will lead to a decrease of the milk quota exempt from national aid in those Member States which fully use the production limits granted and, at the same time, administer the national quota buy-back mechanism.

The new rules will openly discriminate against the most active farmers who contribute to the development of market milk production.

In view of the above, Poland finds it essential to maintain the milk quota buy-back mechanism as a facultative activity which should be implemented only after an independent decision of a Member State.
I am not sure that this figured in the news at the time, but it is a proof of the pressure on member states to follow an emerging consensus in the Council, especially under time pressure, that I found worth publishing.