Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Questions (34)

Barry Cowen

Question:

34. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will be supporting, as President of the Council of Ministers, the abolition of sugar quotas by 2015; the current position in relation to this proposal; the attitude of the Commission and the EU Parliament to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21467/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The future of sugar quotas is one of the issues currently under consideration in the negotiations on reform of the CAP. The proposal of the EU Commission is that these quotas should be abolished with effect from 30 September 2015. In discussions at the EU Council of Ministers, differing views emerged on the Commission proposal with some Member States in favour of retention of quotas until 2020 and beyond and others supporting abolition. As President of the Council, I proposed a compromise at the March meeting of Agriculture Ministers for abolition of sugar quotas from 30 September 2017. This compromise was accepted as part of the General Approach of the Council on CAP reform. The position taken by the European Parliament is that the quota system should be extended to 30 September 2020, with provision made for reallocation of quota to those Member States who had relinquished their entire quotas in 2006. This issue will now be the subject of further negotiations between the three EU institutions in the trilogues process.