IFA President John Bryan will attend an emergency meeting of the COPA Presidium in Brussels today where farm leaders will make their concerns heard on the proposed EU budget cuts in advance of the crucial Heads of Government negotiations in Brussels.
John Bryan said the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must secure Ireland’s full €1.6bn annual CAP allocation. “European Council President von Rompuy has brought forward a set of proposals that would be very damaging for agriculture and must be strongly rejected by Ireland. These proposals would cut €1bn from our funding between 2014 and 2020, resulting in a drop in farm production and jeopardising our growth targets. The Taoiseach must resolutely defend Ireland’s full Single Farm Payment and Rural Development budget.
The IFA President said he welcomed the strong support from other member states in opposing attempts by von Rompuy to reduce spending on agriculture. At a meeting with the FNSEA in Dublin yesterday (Tuesday), John Bryan welcomed the strong solidarity from the French farm leaders to fight to defend the overall EU CAP Budget. The FNSEA and IFA leaders had a very constructive meeting on CAP reform with the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney who will be taking over as President of the Farm Council in January 2013.
Mr Bryan said he spoke at length with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny this week, and he re-iterated the importance of farming and food to the Irish economy, and how farm production is underpinned by a strong CAP. IFA wants all Government resources devoted to preserving EU Budgets at existing levels to ensure Irish farm families remain viable.