Coveney pushing for deal on CAP by April
But the minister insists on 'flexibility' for redistribution of SFP
A new CAP could be in place by the beginning of 2014 if a compromise deal on the reforms can be agreed before April, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has claimed.
He said the deadline of January 2014 for CAP reform could be met if a new EU budget was agreed by heads of state at a special summit in November.
However, Mr Coveney accepted that the timeframe was tight and he said an agreement on the new CAP package would have to be concluded by April if the 2014 deadline was to be met.
Ireland takes over the EU presidency in January 2013 and responsibility for delivering a deal will rest with Minister Coveney.
Speaking at a Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels yesterday, Minister Coveney reiterated the need for flexibility in the manner in which Single Farm Payment (SFP) entitlements were distributed within member states.
He claimed the commision's proposals would result in enormous economic and political difficulties for Ireland. He also called for the greening payments to be calculated on a pro-rata basis based on each farmer's individual payment and not a flat rate manner.
Last week Minister Coveney rejected the commission's proposals, claiming they would result in the transfer of €297m of Ireland's €1.3bn Single Farm Payment (SFP) allocation to farmers with entitlements lower than the national average of €270/ha.
"I've been under a lot of pressure to move to the Commissioner's position," he claimed, referring to the architect of the reforms, Dacian Ciolos.