23 April 2014

DARD Launch Consultation on CAP Communication


Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has launched a consultation on the EU Commission's Communication on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The Communication entitled 'The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future' was released on 18 November 2010 and sets out three alternative options for reform of the CAP, paving the way for the expected release of formal legislative proposals in the summer of 2011.

Launching the consultation, the Minister said: "The publication of the Commission's Communication on the future of CAP signals the formal beginning of this important debate. It introduces a number of new ideas, such as the 'greening' of direct support by increasing environmental eligibility requirements. There are also suggestions that direct payments should no longer be allocated on a historical basis and that support should be better targeted towards active farmers, with a limit placed on the amount of support any individual can receive.

"Unfortunately, the paper lacks the detail necessary to permit a full assessment of, for example, the impact of the additional environmental demands, or the basis for future payment rates. Nevertheless, we must consider the ideas in the Communication and formulate our response"

The Minister continued: "The support provided by the CAP is critically important in underpinning agricultural incomes and sustaining rural communities in the north. The CAP also has a central role in conserving our environmental heritage.

In conclusion, the Minister added: "I want to consult widely on the EU Communication on CAP and I encourage all interested stakeholders to make their views known to DARD by taking part in this consultation, which closes on 31 January 2011. I would also strongly urge local stakeholders to respond directly to the EU Commission's own consultation on the CAP Communication by the 25 January 2011."

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