See question(s) : E-001842/2022
Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission
The EU imports more than 40 % of its total net consumption of nitrogenous fertilisers1. The surge of energy prices has affected their production. This resulted in the temporary curtailments/halting of some production facilities in Europe and an increase of nitrogen fertilisers’ price.
In its Communication to safeguard food security and resilience of food systems2, the Commission announced a support package of EUR 500 million that can be used by Member States to finance measures to address rising agri-food cost including measures to compensate farmers for their purchase of fertilisers and/or to compensate the fertiliser industry for their extra cost. The Commission is closely monitoring the availability and affordability of fertilising products for the next planting seasons. The Commission will take, if necessary, temporary remedial action to facilitate sourcing of key nutrients to ensure good yields of highquality arable crops.
The Commission also put in place a Temporary Crisis Framework3 enabling Member States to compensate companies for the additional costs incurred due to exceptionally high gas and electricity prices in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In addition, the Commission invests considerably in research and innovation (R&I) to foster the fertiliser production in the EU based on the valorisation of residue and waste streams. Ongoing R&I projects4 aim to provide farmers suitable alternatives to mineral fertilisers, while closing nutrient cycles and creating new value chains on a regional level.
The Common Agricultural Policy has the potential to contribute to the objectives of the Green Deal and its strategies5
on reducing the surplus of nutrients with beneficial effects for the consumption of fertilisers6
1 Net consumption = production – exports + imports. In 2019, out of the 16.3 Mtons of nitrogenous fertilisers used, 16.1 Mtons were produced in the EU27 but 7 Mtons were exported and 7.2 Mtons were imported to the EU (source: JRC data based on Eurostat Comext and Prodcom).
2 COM(2022)133 final – Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems https://europa.eu/!8RJjVh
3 2022/C 131 I/01 – Temporary Crisis Framework for State Aid measures to support the economy following the aggression against Ukraine by Russia https://europa.eu/!7GBcc3
4 For example: RUSTICA, FERTIMANURE, Nutri2Cycle, LEX4BIO, B-Ferst or SEA2LAND.
5 COM(2020) 381 final – A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system https://europa.eu/!rt73kQ and COM(2020) 380 final – EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 Bringing nature back into our lives https://europa.eu/!vw76Rn
6 Specific measures have been proposed in several national strategic plans, and among others through better nutrition management and sustainable use of resources to strengthen the EU circular bio economy.