Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (490)

Michael Fitzmaurice


490. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the way in which his Department plans to evaluate whether the CAP proposals proposed by the main farming organisations truly reflect the views of farmers; if he will allow all farmers to vote on the CAP proposals through an online system such as agfood.ie or through veterinary offices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8345/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The new regulations for the CAP 2021-27 were launched on Friday 1 June 2018 by Commissioner Hogan. The proposals, as drafted, involve significant changes, including in relation to governance, the distribution of direct payments among farmers and the increasing environmental conditionality attaching to such payments. These proposals are complex and we are now in the middle of intensive and challenging negotiations for the next CAP 2021-27. However, the proposals are just that and we still have some way to go before agreement on these proposals will be achieved.

I have always sought to have a broad consultation on these proposals. In February 2018, I launched my Department's public consultation process which included six meetings with stakeholders across the country. The objective of the consultation was to allow members of the public outline their views on the issue, having regard to the challenges facing the sector. In total, 164 written submissions were received, which included responses from farming organisations such as the IFA, INHFA, ICMSA, ICOS, ICMSA among others. The submissions provided a vital insight into farming and societal views.

In addition to the public consultation, I hosted a Conference in July 2018 on the new CAP legislative proposals for interested stakeholders, including farm bodies, state agencies and the environmental pillar. This was a timely opportunity to bring all interested stakeholders together for a constructive discussion on the future CAP. The range of speakers came from the political sphere, from the European Commission, and from my Department. The conference was a very useful opportunity to hear the views of the many stakeholders involved. The outcome from the consultation process and the stakeholder conference is feeding into the Department’s on-going analysis and policy response to the proposals. Since then there have been ongoing informal consultations with stakeholders, including farm bodies, state agencies and the environmental pillar.

The CAP post 2020 proposals set out a new delivery model which requires Member States to submit a CAP Strategic Plan, covering Pillar I and Pillar II expenditure, to the Commission for approval. The process of developing the CAP Strategic Plan will be complex and will require on-going and substantive stakeholder and public consultation which will include the farm organisations. Further consultation meetings will be arranged with stakeholders as the negotiations and preparation of the CAP Strategic Plan progresses.