Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (417)

Charlie McConalogue


417. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the legislative proposals of the European Commission (details supplied) laying down transitional provisions for the current CAP programme to be extended to 2021; the position Ireland is taking on the files at Council level; the EU funding for Ireland in 2020 under Pillar 1 direct payments and Pillar 2 rural development programme in tabular form; the proposed budget allocations for Pillar 1 and Pillar 2, respectively, in 2021 as set out in the legislative files; and the steps he will take to build support with like-minded member states to ensure that proposed budget cuts to direct payments and the rural development programme are reversed in 2021. [46188/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The European Commission has recently published its proposals for transitional measures to allow for continuity between programming periods 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 for CAP payments. This transition process is not unusual, given the typically challenging nature of the budgetary negotiations, which require unanimous agreement. The proposals are detailed and require careful consideration. They will be discussed by Member States over the coming months, and my officials are currently assessing their content.

The draft proposals provide for an additional, transitional year before starting the new CAP. Funding arrangements for transition year 2021 are based on the Commission’s proposals for the new MFF which include proposed reductions in CAP funding. This was also the arrangement implemented during the last transition period leading into the current CAP.

The EU funding for Ireland in 2020 for Pillar 1 Direct Payments and Pillar 2 Rural Development is set out in the EU Regulations for both for the current programming period. Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 for Rural Development sets out the breakdown for the entire programming period including 2020 in Annex 1, with a total amount for Ireland over the period of €2,190,592,153 (€2.19bn) including a figure of €312,570,314 for 2020. The ceilings are an indicative amount for each year. The drawdown may be more or less in any given year as it is dependent on the progress of the Rural Development Programme, but the overall ceiling for the programming period 2014-2020 cannot be exceeded.

In relation to Direct Payments Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, the National Ceiling for Ireland is set out in Annex 2 and provides for €1,211,066,000 (€1.21bn) for the year 2020.

My key focus is to work together with my European colleagues to achieve agreement on the CAP reform proposals and the maintenance of the CAP budget. I have consistently called for the latter at the Agri-fish Council in Brussels. In addition, in Madrid in May 2018, I joined colleagues from France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Finland to sign a Memorandum calling for the maintenance of the CAP budget. And, as recently as the October 2019 Agri-fish Council, I again joined sixteen colleagues across Europe in a declaration seeking to maintain CAP funding.