Even though Ciolos is stepping down as Commissioner for Agriculture at the end of the year, the new Commissioner in waiting Phil Hogan has been told he must continue the policy of stabilising the milk market by European Milk Board.

The nomination, for the Irishman Phil Hogan, still has to be confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council at the end of October. “We congratulate Phil Hogan on his nomination”, says Sieta van Keimpema, Vice-President of the European Milk Board (EMB). “However, the change of commissioner must not mean a change in direction in agriculture”, she adds.

The EMB says that what has been important for the outgoing Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos is that the milk market must not be left to its own devices. This attitude has also been broadly supported by the Members of the European Parliament. Even though during Ciolos’ term of office as Commissioner no effective provision was made for the period after the abolition of the milk quota in 2015, he and his team have been working in the right direction.

Erwin Schöpges, a member of the EMB Board, adds: “Ciolos has tackled key issues like the Monitoring Agency for the milk market and seen them through. He also feels it is important to communicate with the organisations that really represent the producers.” For, according to Schöpges, Ciolos deals not only with organisations whose names include the word “farmer” but actually represent only the interests of the dairies.

EMB Vice-President Sieta van Keimpema regards it as self-evident that the new Commissioner must also see the work started through to the end, so that the instruments needed by the milk market are implemented at last: “Once again, events like the Russian ban on imports make it crystal clear to us that we must have the ways and means of being able to react properly to crises and specific market situations. The EMB is ready and willing to co-operate with the new Commissioner for Agriculture and the European Commission in the future.”