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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 7 Oct 1997

Vol. 481 No. 1

Written Answers. - Agenda 2000.

Michael Creed


26 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food his preliminary views on the agricultural aspects of President Santer's Agenda 2000 proposals; and the steps, if any, which he intends to take in this regard to safeguard the future of Irish farming. [15443/97]

The Agenda 2000 document sets out the Commission's views on the future of the CAP in general terms. It will not be possible to adopt definitive positions on the proposals in the document until the full details are published next year. However, I believe that reform of the market regimes of the CAP is necessary to make European agriculture more competitive on world markets and allow it to be developed on a sound, stable and sustainable basis. This must be done in a way that ensures that principles of the CAP are preserved. In particular, farm incomes must be protected by full compensation for any price reduction not only for reasons of equity and social cohesion but also because the predominance of agriculture as an economic activity in rural areas makes it of central significance in the development of those areas. I also believe that the reform of the market regimes should be accompanied by appropriate measures to assist the agricultural sector to adapt its structures to the more competitive conditions which will obtain and that agri-environment measures and rural development policy should both be strengthened to ensure the preservation and enhancement of the rural environment and the survival of dynamic rural communities.

My strategy in the negotiations on Agenda 2000 will be based on the approach which I have outlined.