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Creed Fights for Continued EU Funding for Fisheries & Farmers

The Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine, Michael Creed TD, today (Monday) called for European Maritime & Fisheries Funding (EMFF) for SME’s in aquaculture and seafood processing to be continued post 2020 as well as reiterating his demands for an increase to the CAP budget during a meeting of the Council of Agriculture & Fisheries Ministers in Luxembourg. 

Addressing Council during a discussion on the EMFF 2021-2027, Minister Creed said; “Ireland expects to fully spend its 2014-2020 allocation and we foresee increasing investment opportunities and demands for the 2021-2027 period.  I would like to highlight one particular area of initial concern that we have identified, namely the apparent proposal to restrict EMFF aid for capital investment in aquaculture and seafood processing to financial instruments only.  Currently such a restriction applies to large scale operators only.  The majority of our operators are small or medium enterprises. Depriving them of grant aid would have a very negative impact on our policy objectives to grow scale and add value in our processing and aquaculture sectors.  While we are in favour of continued and increased use of financial instruments, we must continue to have recourse to grant aid where these are most appropriate.”

Commenting during a discussion on the EU Commission legislative proposals for the Common Agriculture Policy post 2020 the Minister remarked that; “a reduced budget means reduced ambition. This is the wrong signal to send our young people, and it is inconsistent with the increased ambition outlined in these proposals.”

 ENDS

Date Released: 18 June 2018