'CAP policy circle won't be easy to square': Creed
East-west divide opens up on farmers' demands
Establishing a national CAP position that represents the differing regional views and aspirations of farmers will be a major challenge, admitted Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.
Mr Creed said the recent CAP consultation meetings highlighted the stark divergence of opinions on EU farm policy that exist amongst farmers.
"My overarching impression is there are very different asks depending on geography in the country, and that is not going to be an easy circle to square," Mr Creed told the Farming Independent.
While a greater degree of national discretion on the focus of CAP spending has been promised as part of next programme, the minister said this could add to the domestic battle on how funds are spent.
"There are very different asks in Charleville and Carlow from the asks in Claremorris and Carrick-on-Shannon. That is a challenge," he said.
Mr Creed said that the "differing agendas" on issues such as frontloading of CAP payments and capping of entitlements highlighted the distance between the opposing positions.
"Add into the mix then the sustainability objectives that will be a part of CAP. You are looking at very significant challenges to get a CAP that all people can subscribe to," he said.