EU farmers angry about Ukraine imports

European farmers have been becoming increasingly disillusioned about EU agricultural policies, and their protests have been growing. A driving factor behind their anger is EU support for Ukraine, which is battling against Russia's invasion.

In a bid to support the war-torn country, the EU has stopped imposing tariffs on Ukrainian farm products.
This has left many European farmers struggling to stay in business because of the relatively cheap agricultural imports.

A poultry farm in northern France ships about 10,000 eggs per day. But the farm owner, Olivier Senechal, says his business is still facing difficulties.

Electricity prices have gone up by about 50 percent since the war began, and surging grain prices have driven up the cost of chicken feed by 30 percent.

Senechal says his income has been cut in half.
He says the EU's tariff-free policy on the import of Ukrainian eggs is unfair because it puts his products at a disadvantage. He says that farmers are not against supporting Ukraine. But he notes that the farmers are paying a very high price for the support. He adds that their livelihoods are being endangered.

The EU is under pressure to help European farmers. It is planning to reintroduce tariffs on sugar, eggs and poultry from Ukraine, if the amounts exceed a certain level.
But key agricultural organizations say the measures are not enough.

They point out that the measures do not include items such as wheat or address the farmers' other concerns. The organizations say that they plan to keep protesting.

Elections for the European Parliament will be held in June. Sebastien Abis, at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs, is an expert on international politics and agriculture. He noted that the question of Ukrainian agricultural imports will be an important issue. He said, "The difference today compared to 2022 is that there is more debate in Europe on whether this support is only blind support or whether Europe should be protecting its own interests."

Abis said farmer discontent could lead to more seats going to political parties that are skeptical of providing support to Ukraine. He also said that it could lead to a decrease in aid.