The International Trade Committee gave its green light on Thursday to double the amount of Moldovan agricultural products exported to the EU tariff-free.
MEPs in the International Trade Committee approved a proposal to double quotas on seven agricultural products, the export of which has not yet been fully liberalised: plums, table grapes, apples, tomatoes, garlic, cherries and grape juice. For a year, twice as many of these products can be sold to the EU without tariffs.
The liberalisation will help Moldovan producers and businesses overcome the loss of Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian markets due to Russia’s war on Ukraine. Due to the temporary liberalisation, this trade will be rerouted towards the EU.
The committee’s draft report, prepared by standing rapporteur for Moldova Markéta Gregorová (Greens/EFA, CZ) was adopted with the unanimous vote of 30 MEPs.
“The economic situation of The Republic of Moldova was already troubled before the war of aggression against Ukraine, which hit the already strained economy. The proposal for this temporary trade measure will allow Moldova to redirect part of its trade to the EU, enabling Moldova to sell this year's harvest, thus supporting the stability of their economy,” Markéta Gregorová said.
Relations between the EU and Moldova are governed by an Association Agreement that includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. This latter ensures the full liberalisation of all exports to the EU bar the seven products temporarily liberalised through the proposal.
In a May resolution, the Parliament called for suspending import duties on all Moldovan exports to the EU, increasing the quotas for Moldovan agricultural products and facilitating labour access for Moldovans in the EU.
To allow for Moldova to benefit from the measure already this year, the draft report is expected to be fast-tracked for a vote by all MEPs at the July plenary session. Council is also expected to decide on the matter in July. The measure will apply on the day following its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
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