“We cannot continue to accept imports that do not meet the standards that we impose on our own productions”
France, one of the EU’s agricultural powers, made it a priority during its recently inaugurated EU presidency to ensure that imported agricultural products meet the same standards as European agricultural products, this that Spain has been claiming for years to fight against unfair competition.
âWe cannot continue to accept imports into the EU market of products that do not meet the standards that we impose on our own production. It does not mean anything. One of the priorities of this French presidency will be to work so that we have reciprocity of standards â, declared Tuesday Julien Denormandie, the French Minister of Agriculture, during a press conference.
He said there were a number of ways to do this, starting with trade policy. In this sense, he referred to so-called tariff conditionality, which consists in “making preferential access to the EU market conditional on full compliance with European production standards”. “It is a question of fairness in the competition,” he added.
He also mentioned the inclusion of “mirror clauses” in trade agreements to condition agricultural imports and compliance with production standards.
European rules on imports
“All imports from the EU must meet EU food safety standards,” community sources told Efe.
“However, other European standards related to production requirements do not generally apply to products made abroad and sold in the Union, just as third country standards related to production do not apply to products. EU products, âthey added.
According to the same sources, the EU is working to improve cooperation with third countries at bilateral and multilateral levels in order to increase global ambition in setting sustainability standards.
âThe EU’s high production standards for food and agriculture are one of the factors for the success of European food exports,â they stressed.
On the other hand, they said, the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) impose non-discrimination and proportionality. “The rationale and legal feasibility of applying production-related requirements to imports should be assessed to see how these measures can be designed to comply with WTO rules,” they added.