Farm Ireland

Sunday 22 April 2018

Hogan puts pressure on Member States to make up CAP funding shortfall

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan Picture: Collins
EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan Picture: Collins
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

European Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan has piled pressure on EU Member States to come up with funding to maintain subsidy payments to farmers.

Speaking at an event in Brussels late last week Hogan warned  “let us be under no illusions…we face a real battle to maintain CAP funding at its current level”.

He made the comments on the back of a Commission reflection paper on the future of EU finances, in the context of Brexit and other new challenges.

It highlights the pressure the CAP budget might come under from some quarters. Without the net contribution of approximately €12 billion from the UK it won't be possible to maintain existing spending levels in all policy areas,  including agriculture.

However, Hogan said that issue can be resolved if Member States decide to collectively cover the shortfall, or develop new financial resources.

“This decision is now in the hands of the Member States and the European Council.

“It is likely that they will make a final decision at the European Council in December as to which direction they wish to go.

“The European Parliament have to sign off on any new budgetary arrangement.

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"I urge everyone to continue making the case for a strong and well-funded CAP,” he said.

Hogan said the CAP recognises the importance of our farmers and rural communities, and crucially, it recognises that farmers can only guarantee food security for our people if they can earn a fair income from their work.

“The policy also enshrines in law the importance of the European family farm model.

“This means that in every EU Member State, food security and the preservation of our rural environment is implemented by family-owned holdings of various sizes.

“Our citizens understand these facts, and they value them. Eurobarometer polls consistently show that Europeans believe farmers and rural areas are important for our future,” he said.

“But what is unfortunately perhaps less well understood is that this work costs money. Maintaining the highest food standards in the world requires our farmers to go through inspections, quality controls, and registration procedures.

“They also require advisory services, access to innovative products and technologies, and help in bringing their products to market.

However, he warned that without a strong and well-funded CAP, these qualities can no longer be guaranteed.

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