The agriculture ministers of V4 countries expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of regulations aimed at eliminating differences between the quality of food sold in West versus East Europe. As Hungary’s Agriculture Minister István Nagy noted at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council’s meeting on 17 December in Brussels, it’s unacceptable that multinational food concerns treat the inhabitants of East European member states of the Union as second-rate citizens.

A package of draft regulations aimed at amending consumer protection laws and also addressing the phenomenon of dual food quality had been presented by the European Commission in April 2018. However, the rules prohibiting dual food quality were recently deleted from the draft regulations during negotiations in the consumer protection work group. In view of the agricultural ramifications of the matter, the agriculture ministers of the Visegrad countries requested Romania, the country acting as the Council’s president in the first half of 2019, to consider the issue as a priority, and to keep the Agriculture and Fisheries Council informed of the outcome of the relevant negotiations.

DownloadFotó: AM

As István Nagy reminded, the results of comparative tests performed by the competent authorities of Central European member countries in the past two years have confirmed the existence of the phenomenon. The application of dual food quality was condemned by the prime ministers of the V4 countries in a joint declaration in October 2017. Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission confirmed in his speech about the state of the European Union in 2018 that there must be no discrimination against citizens living in any region of the EU. The existence of the phenomenon is also supported by preliminary reviews carried out by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.