23 Apr 2014
IFA LAUNCH ELECTION MANIFESTO FOR EUROPEAN AND LOCAL ELECTIONS
Launching IFA’s Election Manifesto for the European Parliament and local elections in Dublin today (Tues), IFA President Eddie Downey said next month’s elections for the European Parliament would be one of the most important for agriculture since direct elections began 35 years ago.
Eddie Downey said the European Parliament now has a much more significant role than in the past, and will have an increasing level of influence over the future direction of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
“The negotiations during the most recent CAP Reform showed a dangerous drift away from the core principle, which is the sustainable production of food for consumers that also gives farm families a fair price. We expect our eleven MEPs to defend the CAP Budget and put themselves at the centre of policy discussions, which need to refocus the debate around the secure supply of safe food for Europe’s 500 million consumers.”
The IFA President said the more immediate issues for our MEPs include CAP implementation, the early introduction of farm schemes and supporting the abolition of milk quotas next year. In addition, farmers would expect our elected MEPs to strongly defend Irish and European farmers against damaging trade deals, and to support European regulation to curb the growing power of the retail multiples. Environmental issues, and especially concerns relating to EU climate change legalisation, would also be a priority for Ireland.
Eddie Downey said IFA’s Election Manifesto sets out in detail the key issues for the farming community, and provides candidates with an overview of what their priorities should be if elected. The Manifesto also covers key issues of concern to farm families and rural dwellers for local election candidates, with the emphasis on promoting agriculture and the rural economy to achieve regionally-balanced economic growth.
IFA will hold four public meetings, beginning tonight in Tuam, to which candidates will be invited to make a presentation and take questions from members. The full schedule is as follows:
Tues 22nd Apr Ard Ri Hotel, Tuam Wed 23rd Apr Springhill Hotel, Kilkenny
Tues 29th Apr Springfort Hall, Mallow Thurs 1st May Park Hotel, Mullingar