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The Response of the EU Agri-Food Chain to the COVID-19 Pandemic:Chronicles from the EU and Selected Member States

Francesco Montanari, Sarah Arayess, Toma Barbarasa, Alberta Clavarino, Inês Ferreira, Aude Mahy, Stelios Margaritis, Alicja Michałowska, Christina Schröck, Arthur Servé, Agnieszka-Szymecka Wesolowska, Cesare Varallo, Pilar Velázquez González

This research article aims at providing a preliminary assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the EU agri-food sector between March and May 2020. To this end, an analysis of the policy and legislative measures adopted during this period at EU level is first provided. Then, national experiences of nine Member States – i.e. Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain – are described in detail, illustrating, for each country, the most relevant impacts and responses by competent authorities and stakeholders alike. Overall, whilst one can conclude that the EU agri-food sector has shown a high degree of resilience at the onset of the pandemic, the latter has nevertheless revealed its vulnerability to external threats and, with it, the need to guarantee a proper level of preparedness to ensure, in future, food security on the EU market during similar crisis.

Head of Regulatory Affairs, Ph.D. EU law, Arcadia International, Lisbon, Portugal. Corresponding author: <>; Sarah Arayess, Attorney-at-law (advocaat) and Founder, Say Legal, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Toma Barbarasa, Managing Associate at Avics Legal, Bucharest, Romania; Alberta Clavarino, Food lawyer,, Turin, Italy; Inês Ferreira, Associate, Arcadia International, Lisbon, Portugal; Aude Mahy, Partner and Head of Food Law Practice, DALDEWOLF, Brussels, Belgium; Stelios Margaritis, Food lawyer, Agribusiness Consulting, Athens, Greece; Alicja Michałowska, Food lawyer, Food Law Centre, Warsaw, Poland; Christina Schröck, Food lawyer, Meyer Rechtsanwälte, Munich, Germany; Arthur Servé, Associate and Member of Food Law Practice, DALDEWOLF, Brussels, Belgium; Agnieszka-Szymecka Wesolowska, Partner, Food Law Centre, Warsaw, Poland; Cesare Varallo, Food lawyer, Founder and Managing Partner,, Turin, Italy; Pilar Velázquez González, Partner, Velázquez Abogados, Madrid, Spain.


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