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European Community (Exports To Russia)

Volume 19: debated on Tuesday 2 March 1982

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, pursuant to his reply of 19 February in which he stated that the intervention board for agriculture produce had paid £7,671,555·59p in export rebates for food sent to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the United Kingdom in 1981, he will seek to obtain the equivalent information for other member States in the European Economic Community.

The information provided in my reply of 19 February was produced by the United Kingdom intervention board after a special interrogation of its computers. Neither MAFF nor the board held equivalent data for other member States. I am asking the Commission if it can provide the information.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will propose to the Council of Ministers that no further increase in European Economic Community guaranteed prices be agreed until the European Economic Community suspends the subsidising of food and wine exports to the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics.

No. Since the restrictions on European Community sales of food and wine to the USSR were lifted in April 1981, apart from butter where export restitutions remain suspended, the USSR has been treated in the same way as any other third country for the purpose of European Community sales. Thus, where Community prices exceed those prevailing on the world market, export restitutions are generally available to Community exporters to bridge the gap and to enable them to compete with other suppliers. Apart from the application of export restitutions, which are a normal part of the Community's commercial practice under the common agricultural policy, there has been no subsidisation of such sales.