The Hungarian population does not want uncontrolled Ukrainian grain dumping

On 15 September, the European Commission decided not to extend the ban on imports of Ukrainian cereals that had been in place since spring 2023. Following the announcement by the Brussels body, the Government of Hungary extended the ban in question within national competence and extended it to a wider range of products in order to protect the interests of domestic farmers and consumers. In light of these developments, Századvég examined what Hungarians think about Brussels' intention to oblige Hungary and other EU member states to admit genetically modified Ukrainian grain of uncontrolled quality.

Europe flooded with Ukrainian grain of poor quality

Following the outbreak of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russia's blockade of the Black Sea made it impossible to export Ukrainian grain shipments from Ukraine. Therefore, according to Brussels' decision, neighbouring countries (including Hungary) have set up 'solidarity corridors’ to ensure that these agricultural products reach destination countries, mainly in North Africa and Asia.

However, the fact that most of the shipments did not actually leave Europe led to significant market disruption, as importers distributed cheap but low-quality Ukrainian grain on European markets for profit. At the end of April, Brussels concluded an agreement with Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria that allowed these countries to ban the marketing of Ukrainian grain on their territory until 5 June. The European Commission extended the measure until 15 September over the summer but refused to maintain the ban after that date.

Brussels would support Ukrainian grain dumping, public opinion would curb it

It is important to emphasize that

Hungarian farmers must comply with extremely strict European Union regulations during the production of their agricultural products,

which at the same time ensure the excellent quality of Hungarian cereals. Ukrainian producers, on the other hand, do not have to respect EU rules, so they use pesticides – harmful to human health and the environment – that have been banned in the European Union for several decades. In addition, genetically modified crops are also allowed in Ukraine. In other words,

by ignoring strict regulations, cheaply produced cereals of substandard quality are grown in Ukraine.

In light of this, it is not surprising that, according to opinion poll data, a significant majority of Hungarians reject pressure from Brussels that encourages Ukrainian grain dumping. The survey reveals that

nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents oppose Brussels' intention to oblige EU member states, including Hungary, to admit genetically modified Ukrainian grain of uncontrolled quality.


CATI-method, n=1000, among the Hungarian adult population, data collection: September 2023.

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