John Bryan is leading an IFA delegation representing the key sectors to a rally of European farmers in Brussels today (Wed) in advance of the crucial EU budget negotiations which open tomorrow.
Mr Bryan said, “Ahead of the Heads of Government meeting, the purpose of the COPA-COGECA rally is to demonstrate the importance of CAP funding for all farmers in Europe, and to maintain the pressure for full funding for both Pillar I and Pillar II. It is critical that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, along with his allies, makes a strong case at the Brussels summit for the retention of CAP funding”.
He continued, “Ireland’s funding allocation for Rural Development must reflect past performance and participation in the Rural Development programme. In addition, to ensure a full commitment from our government to the CAP, we will be insisting that national co-financing of Pillar II is set at 50%. A number of countries have made a special case for a set allocation of Rural Development funds as the formula being used in their individual allocation would have left those countries short. These countries include among others Austria, Italy and Finland who now have a specific allocation”.
The IFA President said the objective of the Taoiseach must be to ensure that Ireland secures an annual Rural Development allocation of €350m to give a total allocation over the 7 year period of €2.45bn. This should be matched 50% by the National Exchequer with top-ups to ensure a meaningful Rural Development Plan in the period 2014-2020.
John Bryan said, “The CAP budget is worth €11bn to the Irish economy over the next seven years. Securing the Budget is an important part of the framework that is necessary to underpin growth in farming and food up to 2020”.