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Farm Minister comments on EU Commission CAP health Check proposals

26 November, 2007


Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has commented on the publication by the EU Commission of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Health Check proposals.

The Minister said:

"Although Commissioner Fischer Boel has made clear that this is a health check rather than a full blown reform, the proposals cover a number of significant issues for the industry here, such as proposed increases in compulsory modulation, how to achieve an orderly phasing out of milk quotas and simplification of the Single Farm Payment system. It also makes reference to the possible option of moving the model of decoupling more towards a flatter rate system. On all these issues, I will be keen to hear the views of stakeholders over the coming months as we prepare for the negotiations that lie ahead."

"These proposals are mostly concerned with fine tuning the 2003 Reform Agreement. I hope we can achieve that and provide the industry with a period of policy stability between now and 2013. This Health Check also provides us with a particular opportunity to tackle the issue of simplification and I will be doing whatever I can to encourage significant progress on this matter." ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

EU Commission proposals on the CAP Health Check were published by the Commission on 20 November 2007. The Commission intends to hold a 6 month consultation followed by legislative proposals in May 2008. Agreement by EU Member States is anticipated by the end of 2008 and possible implementation in 2009.

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