Farm Ireland

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Irish lag behind in debate on new CAP

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

WE are one of the biggest beneficiaries from CAP and rely heavily on direct payments to support farm income, but just 104 (0.02pc) of the contributions to the public debate about the future of CAP debate have come from Ireland.

An online CAP debate received more than 5,000 contributions from the general public, but we are lagging far behind other EU countries in the debate even though we received €1.3bn in direct payments last year.

German citizens were by far the most vocal in the debate, accounting for 1,323 (26pc) of the total contributions.

Poland filed 1,009 contributions, while France had 695. Latvia contributed 417 opinions, while Austria and Spain had tallies of 354 and 352 contributions respectively.

UK citizens filed 127 opinions, taking eighth spot above Ireland.

The online public debate closed for contributions at midnight last Friday and the responses will now be analysed and collated by external experts.

A summary will be presented next month at an agriculture conference in Brussels on July 19-20.

Commissioner Dacian Ciolos has welcomed the strong public participation, underlining that "the CAP is not just for farmers but for all EU citizens, as taxpayers and consumers".

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He reiterated his intention of coming forward with a communication on the post-2013 CAP in November, stressing that the contributions from the public debate and the conference will feed into the process as the Commission drafts its plans.

Irish Independent