97pc of respondents to CAP reform debate 'not involved in farming'

Phil Hogan in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Phil Hogan in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The vast majority of respondents to the European Commissions consultation on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy were not involved in farming.

In total the Commission received a total of 322,912 online contributions from all EU Member States. Among them, a total of 1,417 position papers were submitted.

In total there were 1,606 responses from Ireland accounting for just .5pc of the total. Some 46pc of the responses were from Germany with over 147,000 responses.

Most of the contributions sent at individual level have been sent by respondents who are not involved in farming.

Only 7pc of the replies come from individuals who see themselves as involved in farming.

The vast majority of the replies (97pc) were submitted by individuals. In particular, a large number of replies were submitted collectively through actions coordinated within the civil society. The analysis of results will specify the identification of the organised campaigns and related numbers.

A large variety of organisations participated in the consultation (from private to public bodies, NGOs, professional associations, national and regional authorities, associations, research organisations…).

A large part of these organisations are private enterprises (61pc) and work in the agricultural sector (77pc).

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Over the next weeks, the Commission will analyse the contributions received.

The outcome of the consultation will be communicated in a Conference on 7th July 2017 to be attended by a broad range of stakeholders. A summary of the results of the consultation will be published online. The Commission will also publish on its website the contributions for which the respondents have agreed to publication.

The outcome of the consultation, together with other consultation activities, will feed into the Impact Assessment process and will be taken into account in the forthcoming Communication on "Modernising and Simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)".

Commissioner Hogan stated that the issues covered by the communication later this year will include: the simplification for farmers of CAP; environmental issues; and more risk management tools.

These talks will be dominated by the ongoing Brexit negotiation which are due to open at the end of March and take two years.

Britain is a major net contributor and the EU's farm post-2020 budget will be without €7bn to €9bn per year in London contributions. He predicted the reform talks will be difficult and he hoped they would include a move to a farm income insurance scheme for farmers and less funds for major producers.

In talk reminiscent of another Irish commissioner, Ray MacSharry, in the period 1989-1992, there is a view in some Brussels quarters that really big producers should no longer get EU income supports post-2020. The commissioner himself said the aim was to complete matters before European Parliament elections in May 2019 and the end of the current commission's term.

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