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de Brún says it's time for CAP to allow rural communities 'to thrive, not just survive'

12 March, 2008

As the European Parliament discussed the "Health Check" of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Sinn Féin's Six County MEP Bairbre de Brún intervened to call for a reorientation of CAP away from serving the interests of large land owners only.

Speaking in Strasbourg Ms de Brún commented:

"If fairly implemented the cap on payments to large farmers and producers should be welcomed as a step away from CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) as a servant only to larger landowners. It is important too that only active farmers are considered eligible for payments under the CAP. CAP should at this critical point be reoriented towards the aim of enabling rural communities to thrive not just to survive."

de Brún also hit out at Commissioner Mandelson's performance at the WTO talks and how "prepared Commissioner Mandelson is to sacrifice the interests of farmers and our rural communities not for the sake of the third world but for games of international trade bargaining".

Ms de Brún noted that many farmers are now fearful that the Lisbon Treaty will copper-fasten such policies if it comes into being because of the powers that Article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty gives to the European Commission in terms of international trade agreements. Críoch

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