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EU-Vietnam bilateral agreement before April

Europe has been swept by a wave of nationalism lately. "But what should we do? Should we close our borders while chanting 'EU first' as is happening on the other side of the Atlantic with 'USA first'? If we do that, then we must also consider that we can no longer produce excess quantities and it does not look like a viable option," explained MEP Herbert Dorfmann during the "La Mela nel mondo" convention at Interpoma.

Apples are the perfect example - consumption is dropping yet production is increasing, so extra-European markets are a necessity. The solution would have been simple a while ago, as Russia would have been the obvious choice, but that market is now off limits and "the situation is not looking as if it will improve too quickly."

MEP Herbert Dorfmann during the La Mela nel Mondo convention at Interpoma 2016.

What are the solutions? "Over the past couple of years, the debate on bilateral agreements was polarised by the TTIP with the US but, if we wanted a wider platform, the protocol issued one year ago was rather disappointing. However there are little known markets that are growing, like Belarus, India, China, Canada and South-East Asia.

"Before April 2017, we will sign two agreements - one with Canada and one with Vietnam. The latter in particular had high customs duties and is growing rapidly."

"We should block the TTIP, because it makes no sense to continue. We would also have to see how the US foreign policy will evolve over the next few months."

"The European Parliament is also discussing other topics, such as the so-called Omnibus Regulation. "There are only four articles dedicated to fruit and vegetables, but they would simplify the EU's Agricultural Policy and review harvest insurance. The idea is to give a new role to crop protection associations. In addition, consortia and POs would become more appealing, as there are many areas in the Union where there is little organisation."

Another topic is the new pesticide regulation. "There is no definitive text yet, but the aim is to make it easier to obtain authorisations for pesticides deriving from natural products."
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