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Common Agricultural Policy Negotiations

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 30 May 2018

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Ceisteanna (79)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

79. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the outcome of the most recent discussions at the EU Agriculture Council in relation to the future funding of CAP; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23727/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The most recent EU Agriculture Council of Ministers where CAP Post 2020 was discussed was held on 19 March 2018. The main item on the Council agenda was the Presidency's draft council conclusions on CAP post 2020. The aim of the draft Council conclusions is to provide guidance to the European Commission on the drafting of legislative proposals, which are expected to be published on 6th June 2018.

In the event, it was not possible to achieve the required unanimous agreement for Council conclusions, however Presidency conclusions were issued covering a wide range of issues that arise in CAP reform.

The determination of budgetary ceilings, including those of the Common Agricultural Policy, is a matter for Finance Ministers. Nonetheless Minister of State Doyle who represented Ireland at the most recent Council of Agriculture Ministers indicated that the EU will need as strong a budget as possible to deliver on the many objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy. Ireland has been very consistent on this issue in recent months especially as discussions around potential increases in GNI contributions have been floated. The Taoiseach, in his address to the European Parliament in January 2018, has already indicated that Ireland is open to contributing more to the EU budget, but only if it is spent on policies that contribute to the advancement of the European ideal. I am also engaged in a round of discussions on the matter with counterparts in other member states.

The next stage in the CAP post 2020 process will be the publication of the legislative proposals. I expect this to happen in early June. In that context, I look forward to engaging constructively with the Presidency, my European counterparts and the European Commission, to ensure that the next CAP continues to provide necessary support to the Irish and European agriculture sector. I would like to reassure the deputy that I will continue to fight for a strong CAP budget in the upcoming negotiations.

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