EU ready to pay €250M to members most affected by drought

  • Lusa
  • 31 May 2023

More than 40% of mainland Portugal is currently in a drought situation.

The European Commission is ready to distribute €250 million to the European Union member states most affected by the situation of extreme drought and floods, in response to a request from Portugal, according to the country’s minister of agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes.

“The commissioner [for agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski,] has made himself available to study the possibility of mobilising two hundred and fifty million euros from the agricultural reserve to address these situations and for the member states most affected,” said Antunes, after an EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

The request had been made by Portugal and endorsed by the ministers from France, Italy and Spain, she added.

“Extensive livestock farming is having serious problems because the pastures have not developed and with that we are seeing ahead of time the use of compound feed and at very high prices,” she explained.

According to Antunes, the expectation is that it will be possible to receive this support “soon” but it is not yet possible to specify when precisely.

“What the commissioner told us and what the member states asked was very urgent,” she said. “What we do know is that this mobilisation of the agricultural reserve must take place before September.”

Antunes went on to say that it is not yet possible to know what slice of the ‘cake’ would go to Portugal.

More than 40% of mainland Portugal is currently in a drought situation.