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Statement from Michael Creed, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 03 May 2018

Draft Proposals for CAP Funding in the EU Multi Annual Financial Framework 2021 - 2027

CAP Funding Must Be Protected

I am extremely disappointed at cuts proposed for the CAP in the period from 2021 to 2027.

Over the next few years farm families will be required to play a vital role in the protection and enhancement of the environment and the production of food to the highest standards in the world. These high standards, and the family farm model, are part of the fabric of European values, but come at a price that EU citizens have shown they are willing to pay. We need farmers to take active steps to mitigate climate change, protect water quality and biodiversity, and improve their competitiveness. A strong CAP is a prerequisite if these objectives, which are in the best interests of all citizens, are to be achieved.   

European agriculture is also facing into a period of significant market uncertainty against the background of Brexit. In all of these circumstances and in particular because many farm families rely on the CAP for virtually their entire income, a cut in funding is simply not a realistic proposition.

With the loss of UK net contributions, this was always going to be a very difficult negotiation and, ultimately, the final decision rests in the hands of the Member States and the European Parliament. I know that the Agriculture Commissioner fought hard to protect the budget, in the face of demands from some quarters for much larger cuts. He has made it clear that additional funding will be needed if the cuts proposed are to be avoided.  Member states are just now at the start of what will be a long and complicated process. 

I have already been meeting with counterparts in Berlin and Paris this week, to set out Ireland’s stall and begin to build consensus among farm ministers around the need for a strong CAP budget. Some member states have indicated that they do not wish to contribute more to the EU Budget and therefore this will be a difficult negotiation. I want to assure farmers that Ireland will fight tooth and nail to protect the CAP Budget in the negotiation to come.

ENDS

Date Released: 03 May 2018