23 April 2014

Gildernew presents CAP reform response to the EU Commission


Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has presented her response on CAP reform to the EU Commission.

Speaking after a meeting with Georg Haeusler, EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, the Minister said: "I had a very constructive meeting with Mr Haeusler which gave me the opportunity to put our views on CAP reform directly to the Commission. I emphasised three issues in particular: the CAP budget, regional flexibility and simplification."

The Minister continued: "I made the point that the most important issue is for the CAP to be adequately funded to meet its objectives. I also stressed the need for us to receive a fair and proportionate share of that budget, particularly Pillar 2 (Rural Development), where our receipts have been unjustifiably low for many years.

"I don't believe that a 'one size fits all' model of CAP can be imposed across the EU or indeed within a Member State and, therefore, I underlined the need for regional flexibility to ensure that CAP support can be fine-tuned to meet local needs and opportunities. On simplification, I asked that the Commission consider carefully the impact of its proposed additional greening measures in terms of implementation costs both for farmers and Government and also to ensure that any definition of an active farmer is workable."

The Minister concluded by saying: "The CAP reform process has a long way to go and I expect the Commission to bring forward detailed legislative proposals in the autumn. Therefore, this was an opportune time to put our point of view to the Commission and I would like to thank everyone who responded to the DARD consultation which assisted in the formulation of our response."

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