Ireland defends EU agriculture budget as farm subsidies face chop
Minister Michael Creed emphasised the importance of a strong and well financed Common Agricultural policy (CAP) not only for European agriculture, but also for employment creation and economic development, particularly in rural areas.
Speaking after today’s Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Minister Creed was responding to discussion on a Commission report on the result of an EU wide public consultation on the future of the CAP, and referred also to a recent reflection paper from the EU Budget Commissioner on the EU Budget.
Farm subsidies face being chopped as Brexit hammers the EU coffers, with the Government being asked to find extra funds to make up the shortfall.
Referring to today’s discussions, the Minister said "it is more important than ever, against the background of Brexit, and in the context of global food security issues, that we have a strong, well financed CAP post 2020".
"Of course the policy has to deliver value for money for EU citizens. I am confident that the CAP can meet the test of value added, in terms of food security, employment creation and environmental sustainability.
"It underpins the production of safe high quality food for 500 million people who live in the EU, provides vital support for farm incomes and sustains the rural economies across the EU.
"From an Irish perspective, CAP supports 173,400 jobs in the Agri Food sector, accounts for approximately 7.6% of GDP and provides a platform for the development of Ireland’s largest indigenous sector, with €26 billion in turnover.”
The Minister said that it was essential that the CAP was not viewed as an “old policy” and rather as a modern and innovative policy that can deliver for all EU citizens.