16 Jul 2014
SUPPORT FOR IRISH COMMISSIONER NEEDED IN BID TO SECURE AGRICULTURE PORTFOLIOBrussels, IFA Policy, Oireachtas, President
IFA President Eddie Downey has warned against damaging Ireland’s prospects of securing the next Agriculture Commissioner and said there is an onus on everybody to support our bid to get a high-profile position in the new EU Commission.
The IFA President said, “As the new Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker begins to assemble his team, the political posturing by some could jeopardise our chances. The focus should be on the best outcome for Ireland”.
Eddie Downey said, “There are important decisions ahead for the agriculture sector, including climate change, retail legislation and trade deals. Irish and European farmers need a strong voice around the Commission table”
“The mid-term review of the CAP will also be taking place, which is an opportunity to re-focus on supporting food production and ensuring a viable living for active, productive farmers. The right outcome on these policy areas will only be achieved by having a Commissioner who recognises that the direction the CAP needs to change.”
“The Irish Government will want to secure a portfolio that can have a real impact for Ireland. As agriculture is our largest indigenous industry, this is something we should actively seek ahead of the formation of the next Commission in September.”
The IFA President held a meeting with the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney last night, at which the key issues in the work agenda for the remainder of this Government were discussed. Eddie Downey said resolving the beef crisis has to be the top priority for the Minister, and he urged him to re-double his efforts as farmers expect progress towards re-building confidence in the sector.
The meeting also discussed IFA’s pre-Budget submission, trade deals, the new Charter of Rights, commodity prices across all sectors and concerns at the slow progress in developing aquaculture.