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Minister Smith meets with Hungarian Minister on CAP

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD met this week in Budapest with Mr Sándor Fazekas, the Hungarian Minister for Rural Development. The meeting is one of a series that Minister Smith is holding with colleagues in other Member States as part of a determined effort to defend Ireland's and Irish farmers' very significant CAP interests.

Hungary is the third member of the current Presidency Trio and will take over the EU Presidency for the first six months of 2011.  Its Presidency is expected to be dominated by discussions on the Commission communication on the CAP after 2013 which is expected to be published at the end of November 2010.

Speaking after the meeting Minister Smith said he was very pleased with the constructive and wide ranging discussions that had taken place. "Hungary and Ireland have much in common: we both have large agricultural sectors and are both strong defenders of the CAP. I emphasised to Minister Fazekas the need for a strong and properly resourced CAP after 2013. Irish farm incomes are heavily dependent on the Single Farm Payment and also on rural development payments.  We would have serious concerns with a reduction of either our pillar 1 or pillar 2 payments.  Without continued income support, the family farm structure in Europe will be at risk".

The Ministers also discussed other dossiers that will fall into the Hungarian Presidency and which are of interest to Ireland.  Minister Smith said "I wish the Hungarian Ministry every success with their Presidency".

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Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD meeting his Hungarian counterpart Mr Sándor Fazekas, the Minister for Rural Development to discuss the upcoming review of CAP in Budapest today.

Date Released: 29 July 2010