Bruegel: European Union grain imports from Ukraine: the right decision and a cynical rebellion

2023-09-20 | Expert publications, Food security

By Marek Dabrowski. 

On 15 September, the European Commission allowed a temporary ban on Ukrainian grain imports (maize, wheat, rapeseed and sunflower seed) to expire. The ban had been introduced on 2 May 2023 under pressure from five EU countries bordering Ukraine (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia), which feared their own producers would be harmed. Initially set for one month until 5 June, the ban was subsequently extended.

It is unclear what impact the end of the ban will have as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have also introduced unilateral bans. Nevertheless, ending the EU-level import restrictions (which applied only in the five countries) was the right decision for several reasons.

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