The importance of the European political system is clearly recognised by Irish farmers. As an exporting nation access to key markets, legislation governing and protecting our natural resources, all play vital roles in our economic success. Irish representation in the European Parliament and European Commission consequently play a key part of the process, particularly their role in the co-decision process.
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Open Election Meetings
IFA will hold four open farmer meetings for the candidates running in the European elections in May.
The meetings are an opportunity for you to ask the candidates about their position on key farming issues. The European Parliament has an increasingly important role in making decisions at EU level & the meetings will look at a range of topics, including the next CAP, retail regulation and climate change.
|MEP Candidates (indicative)||Twitter Handles|
|Mairéad McGuinness MEP||@MaireadMcGMEP|
|Deputy Brendan Smith||@BrendanSmithTD|
|Deputy Anne Rabbitte||@AnneRabbitte|
|Matt Carthy MEP||@mattcarthy|
|Luke Ming Flanagan MEP||@lukeming|
|Fidelma Healy Eames||@HealyEames01|
Wednesday 24th April
McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co. Mayo
Wednesday 1st May
Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
|MEP Candidates (indicative)||Twitter Handles|
|Deirdre Clune MEP||@DeirdreCluneMEP|
|Sean Kelly MEP||@SeanKellyMEP|
|Deputy Andrew Doyle||@ADoyleTD|
|Cllr. Malcolm Byrne||@malcolmbyrne|
|Deputy Billy Kelleher||@BillyKelleherTD|
|Liadh Ní Riada MEP||@LiadhNiRiadaMEP|
|Senator Grace O’Sullivan||@GraceOSllvn|
|Cllr. Breda Gardner||@BredaGardner|
|Walter Ryan Purcell|
Tuesday 30th April
Springfort Hall, Mallow, Co. Cork
Tuesday 7th May
Springhill Court Hotel, Co. Kilkenny.
Key CAP Themes
The CAP 2020 will have a profound and long lasting impact on agriculture in Ireland and across Europe.
Here are some of the key themes that will define the next CAP. Click on the ‘+’ icon to expand the details.
1. Simplification and Subsidiarity
The EU Commission proposals contain a commitment to have increased simplification. The opportunity under this reform to design national strategic plans must be used to support the delivery of a CAP which is simpler and more suited to Irish farming, with less inspections, increased tolerances and reduced penalties.
The convergence concept is designed to improve the distribution of direct payments between farmers. In previous CAP reforms (2014-2020), farmers with per hectare payments below the national average had their payment per hectare increased by an amount equal to one third of the difference between their actual payment level and 90% of the national average, with each farmer’s per hectare payment being brought up to at least 60% of the national average.
The cost of bringing these farmers up (€104m) was funded by reducing the per hectare payments of farmers above the average payment per hectare, regardless of how few hectares they had. Under the current reforms, further convergence proposes that all per hectare payments are brought up to at least 75% of the national average by 2027. IFA estimates that this convergence would cost €30m.
Under the EU Commission proposals, the New Green Architecture contain eco-schemes as part of Pillar I. This is mandatory for Member States but voluntary for farmers.
The EU Commission proposals also include that the allocation of funding for environmental schemes, combined from Pillar I and Pillar II, should be greater than 40%, this excludes ANCs.
There are options under the EU Commission proposals to have coupled payments up to 10% in Pillar I. Ireland currently only has one coupled payment under Pillar I for protein crops.
The EU Commission proposes capping of payments within the following thresholds.
EU COM(2018) 392, Article 15: Reduction of payments:
“Member States shall reduce the amount of direct payments to be granted to a farmer pursuant to this”
Chapter for a given calendar year exceeding EUR 60 000 as follows:
(a) by at least 25 % for the tranche between EUR 60 000 and EUR 75 000;
(b) by at least 50 % for the tranche between EUR 75 000 and EUR 90 000;
(c) by at least 75 % for the tranche between EUR 90 000 and EUR 100 000;
(d) by 100 % for the amount exceeding EUR 100 000
Before applying paragraph 1 (capping limits), Member States shall subtract from the amount of direct payments to be granted to a farmer pursuant to this Chapter in a given calendar year:
(a) the salaries linked to an agricultural activity declared by the farmer, including taxes and social contributions related to employment; and
(b) the equivalent cost of regular and unpaid labour linked to an agricultural activity practiced by persons working on the farm concerned who do not receive a salary, or who receive less remuneration than the amount normally paid for the services rendered, but are rewarded through the economic result of the farm business.
To calculate the amounts referred to in points a) and b), Member States shall use the average standard salaries linked to an agricultural activity at national or regional level multiplied by the number of annual work units declared by the farmer concerned”.
6. Rural Development
A strongly funded Rural Development Programme (RDP) under Pillar II is vital for rural areas. Funding must be made up from a high EU contribution combined with significant national co-financing.
7. Generational Renewal
The CAP must ensure young farmers are attracted into the sector through tailored tax incentives, policy instruments and farm schemes. Less than 5% of Irish farm holders are under 35 years.
8. Producer Organisations
Under the EU Commission CAP proposals there are a number of opportunities for Member States to select specific sectoral interventions in their Strategic Plans.
These are vital for vulnerable sectors. POs provide producers with a mechanism to group supply and thereby strengthening their position in the market.
There are opportunities for all sectors to be supported in this market structure.
More Election Resources
The following are some useful resources for catching up on the latest developments in the EU and what the European elections mean for the future of the CAP.
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IFA Brussels Office
The IFA Brussels office plays a crucial role in promoting and defending Irish farmers’ interests in Europe through effective communications link with EU decision-makers.
IFA on CAP
Follow IFA on the CAP where we are seeking that the CAP Budget is increased to cover the cost of inflation and to pay for any additional requirements placed on farmers.
IFA on Brexit
Follow IFA on the critical Brexit issues for farming and food and the clear objectives that must be delivered to secure the interests of Ireland’s vital agri-food sector.