Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

Ciolos set to outline ideas on reforms

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos is due to outline his thinking on the CAP reform process this afternoon in a speech which will close a two-day conference in Brussels on EU farm policy.

Up to 600 delegates from across the EU attended the two-day event, which was called to discuss the future of CAP post-2013.

The conference debated and sought to draw conclusions from the public debate on CAP, which was launched by the commission in April.

A more equitable distribution of CAP funds across the EU member states and some control over the level of direct payments which can be claimed by individual landowners, farmers or food companies were two of the most common contributions made to the CAP discussion process.

It is understood that the issues being raised in the discussion process -- such as the possible introduction of a limit on individual direct payments and changes to the manner in which direct payments are calculated -- will be covered by Mr Ciolos when he makes his closing address to the Brussels conference.

Mr Ciolos is expected to draw attention to the strong response that the public debate triggered, with nearly 6,000 internet contributions from the general public, as well as positions from some 80 think tanks and 93 non-governmental organisations.

"This shows that people feel strongly about the CAP, and the responses have illustrated that our policy is not only about food production, but also about the provision of broader public goods," the commissioner said.

IFA president John Bryan said the conference was a timely opportunity to convey the views of Irish farming and agri-business and emphasise the benefits for farm families and Europe's 500m consumers from a strong, well-funded CAP post-2013.

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He said the CAP must support active and productive farm families in producing a safe and sustainable supply of quality food for European consumers.

"A well-funded CAP will underpin the growth potential of the sector in Ireland over the next decade," Mr Bryan said.

Irish Independent