Creed urged to follow French lead in opposing 'drastic' CAP reform
The pushback against the EU's post-2020 budget has begun, with France, Hungary, the Netherlands and even Ireland having a go, although for very different reasons.
For France, the proposed 5pc cut to the Common Agricultural Policy budget takes centre stage, though the government has also criticised a 7pc reduction in regional (or Cohesion) funding.
French agriculture minister Stéphane Travert (pictured right) described the CAP proposal as a "drastic, massive and blind" cut in funding that he said is "unacceptable" to the government.
Irish farmers are urging the Taoiseach and agriculture minister Michael Creed to follow suit, and take a "principled" stand.
ICMSA president Pat McCormack said "the French declaration should be the 'red line' on which those Member States committed to the principle and practice of CAP should now rally and signal that they will not be moved".
Cut in funding is 'not realistic'
Mr Creed said he was "extremely disappointed" by the proposal, and that "a cut in funding is simply not a realistic proposition".
But whether it satisfies the Taoiseach - who pledged to up Ireland's contribution to the overall EU budget as long as CAP funding was maintained - remains to be seen.
The Commission estimates that between 16 and 20 governments (including Ireland) have agreed to pay more themselves to offset the budget cuts.