Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (513)

Thomas Pringle


513. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to develop rewilding and peatland restoration projects on blanket bogland designated for agricultural purposes; his further plans in regard to a budget for such schemes under the revised CAP; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37599/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Projects in respect of designated Boglands would primarily be a matter for the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the first instance.

As regards the Common Agricultural Policy 2021-2027, the Deputy will be aware that draft proposals were launched by Commissioner Hogan on 1 June 2018 and negotiations on the draft proposals are continuing at EU level. While significant progress has been made in the negotiation process to date, decisions on key issues have still to be agreed upon at EU level. 

The shape of the next CAP will be very much determined by its budgetary allocation for the same period.  Funding for the next CAP is part of a broader discussion on the EU budget, which is negotiated by EU Finance Ministers and then agreed by the European Council and European Parliament.

Negotiations on the EU budgetary proposals are continuing in parallel with the CAP post-2020 negotiation process.  Decisions on all aspects will be informed by the final outcome of CAP negotiations and the available budget.   I would like to reassure the deputy that I will continue to fight for a strong CAP budget and secure the best possible outcome for the Irish agri-food sector.

Following on from the last meeting of the CAP Stakeholder Consultative committee which took place on the 4th September, an open call for submissions on the CAP Strategic Plan – Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat Analysis (SWOT) has been launched as part of the CAP post 2020 consultation process. The Open Call for submissions runs for a five week period from 9th September to 11th October 2019.  Full details of how interested parties and stakeholders can respond to the Open Call for submissions are available on the Department website.