Pillar II will not be cut, says Ciolos
Suggestions that the rural development element of CAP could be slashed as part of a review of the overall EU budget have been rejected by Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos.
Rumours circulating in Brussels last week indicated that Commission president Manuel Barroso wanted to cut rural development funding in Pillar II of CAP as part of the overall EU budget negotiations.
However, Commissioner Ciolos told a plenary session of the European parliament last week that he put "great store" in Pillar II of the CAP.
A lot of ambition will be placed on the second pillar of CAP and it "will not pay the price in the next budgetary perspectives", Mr Ciolos told MEPs.
The rural development element of CAP is worth €490m in EU transfers to Ireland. However, there is a view that it may not be as vigorosly defended by member states since these transfers must be co-funded at national level to be drawn down.
The Commission is to publish its EU budgetary proposals for the period 2014 to 2020 tomorrow evening.
The French, British and Germans have called for a freeze in the overall EU budget.
In addition, Commission president Manuel Barroso has indicated he wants to shift the emphasis of the EU budget away from agriculture and structural funds towards innovation and research.