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EU Commissioner pledges to align development, farm policies with Africa

The International Green Week was held in Berlin last Thursday (16 January), in which EU Commissioner Dacian Ciolo called for an elimination of agricultural export refunds in trade with African countries.

In his speech, Ciolo announced: "I am ready to propose stopping, once and for all, the use of export refunds to those developing country destinations even in times of crisis when this instrument can still be used."

Since 1992, the EU's agriculture policy has gradually been shifting from price support to directly providing aid to farmers. This shift is intended to continue supporting farm incomes while lowering EU food prices and reducing the agricultural price gap with developing countries. Ciolo expressed further: "Since 1 January, EU legislation is also very clear," Ciolo said, "export refunds have ceased to exist as a means of systematically supporting a sector. ... in the framework of preferential partnership agreements with African countries: I am prepared to go one step further."