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Creed & EU Colleagues Make Stand for Farmers Building consensus Key to Influencing the EU Budget Debate

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today (Thursday) met with counterparts from a number of other EU member states in Madrid, to discuss the recently announced cuts in the CAP Budget ceilings for the period 2021-2027. 

The EU’s Budget Commissioner, Gunther Oettinger, published his proposals for the future EU Budgetary Framework on May 2nd last. These included a proposed cut of approximately 5% in CAP funding. 

The meeting in Madrid was attended by Ministers for Agriculture for France, Spain and Portugal. State Secretaries from Finland and Greece, all of whom signed a joint memorandum requesting that the CAP budget be increased to bring it back to the current levels.

This is the latest in a round of meetings between Minister Creed and counterparts across the EU. The objective of the meeting was to build a consensus around the need to protect the CAP budget, against the background an increasing range of demands on the agri food sector. These include the challenge of meeting the highest food safety standards in the world, the need to increase Agriculture’s contribution to the environment and climate change mitigation, and the market volatility and competitiveness pressures arising from an increasingly globalised marketplace.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Creed said: 

“Demands on farmers are greater than ever. The agriculture sector is a critical player in meeting environmental and climate change challenges, and there are costs associated with meeting these increasing demands. Furthermore, the advantage of an increasingly globalised market place brings with it volatility and competiveness challenges, and farm families in many sectors are struggling to make ends meet.  Therefore farmers cannot be asked to do more and more for less and less. 

It is clear that the decision of the UK to leave the European Union will result in significant budgetary challenges during the next financial framework.  Notwithstanding these very real pressures, I am convinced that we have to protect the CAP budget, if we are serious about preserving the family farm model that is central to the European project.

The Common Agricultural Policy is the most successful policy of the European project, and we have emerged from this meeting with a strong coalition of member states, from North, South, East and West who are prepared to defend the CAP Budget, as we enter into what will be extremely difficult negotiations.”

Minister Creed also held a separate bilateral meeting with French Minister Stephane Travert regarding the ongoing EU-Mercosur Trade negotiations.

 

ENDS

Date Released: 31 May 2018