Speaking from Brussels this week, IFA President John Bryan said that the CAP 2013 report from MEP Albert Dess strongly supports the Common Agricultural Policy, and the absolute necessity for direct payments in the future. The report highlights the necessity to maintain a sustainable and competitive agriculture sector, preserving individual farming sectors and areas.
Following a meeting with Mr Dess, European Parliament Rapporteur and EPP Group Coordinator in the Agricultural Committee, John Bryan said this report is clear that there should be no major redistribution of CAP budgets between Member States. He said, “This underpins the argument in the defence of Ireland’s full National Envelope.”
The IFA President said, “The report does not deal fully with Irish farmers’ concerns on the method of direct payments, but identifies that special action will be required to deal with specific differences in individual Member States. The report is clear about maintaining direct payments to active farmers and states that that there must be a transition period up to 2020.”
Mr Bryan said the green measure proposals, which involve moving funds between Pillar I and II, are a real concern. He said any further greening of the CAP cannot be at the expense of competitive agricultural production. The measures must be simple to apply and must allow flexibility within Member States
The IFA President agreed with the conclusion in the report of the importance of retaining compensatory payments for Less Favoured Areas in Pillar II.
John Bryan said, “The Dess report highlights the need for simplification, with no expansion of cross compliance rules and correctly demands a review of the cross compliance costs imposed on farmers.”
Mr Bryan said “The Irish Government and our MEPs must continue to fully defend the CAP, Ireland’s National Envelope and protect individual direct payments to farmers, and utilise the Dess report to secure a positive outcome for Ireland.”