Baltic states demand full convergence of farm payments at EU meeting
The Minister’s for Agriculture of Latvia, Lituania, Poland and Estonia called for full convergence of payments to farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
In a joint declaration, the four nations called for fairness and equality between Member States and urged the EU to complete the process of full convergence of direct payments between Member States.
They also underlined that all EU farmers have to meet the same standards and requirements and face the same challenges.
On this issue Assistant secretary of the Department of Agriculture Brendan Gleeson, told TDs in the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee that it was difficult to access how much Irish farmers would be hit in a full convergence secneario.
“We looked at a proposal for external convergence of payments per hectare across member states before and we are absolutely certain we have nothing to gain from it.
“Would we lose from it? We would have to see specific proposals to determine whether we would lose from it or not.
“The last proposal from the then Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, was to move everyone to the average payment per hectare across Europe.
“When we looked at the specifics at the time, our payments per hectare were more or less bang on the average.