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Agriculture Commissioner accepts Minister Smith's invitation to visit Ireland

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today confirmed that the EU Agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos will visit Ireland on 12 and 13 July.   The Minister said "I am delighted that the Commissioner has accepted my invitation to visit Ireland.  The visit will take place immediately before an important EU conference on the future of the CAP after 2013 and will give Ireland the opportunity to present our position at this very important juncture."

The Minister recalled that he had launched a public consultation on the CAP post-2013 last July, at which time he invited written submissions to be made to the Department.  Since then, 60 submissions had been received, many of very high quality.

Minister Smith welcomed the recent announcement by Commissioner Ciolos of a process of public consultation about the future of the CAP and of European agriculture.  The consultation process will conclude with a conference in mid-July, after the Commissioner's visit to Ireland, thus emphasising the significance of the timing of the Commissioner's visit to Ireland. The Commission will make proposals for a revised CAP after it has reviewed the public comments. The changes to the CAP will take effect after the current programme of funding expires in 2013.

"I very much welcome the consultation process that the Commissioner has launched and I would urge all interested parties in Ireland to make an input to it" said Minister Smith.  "We will be writing to those who made submissions to our national consultation to urge them to also participate in the Commission exercise.  It is very important that Ireland's voice is heard clearly and strongly in this process.  The CAP is of vital importance to our agri-food sector, which is our largest indigenous industry, but it is also relevant to everyone in this country including food consumers and those interested in our rural society and environment."

The Minister said he would invite Oireachtas members and stakeholders to contribute to the success of the visit.

Press Release 61/10 - 15.04.10 
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, meeting with Commissioner Dacian Ciolos in Brussels in February

Date Released: 15 April 2010