de Brun hopeful for CAP funding in European Commission spending proposals
Bairbre de Brun MEP has expressed guarded optimism that the CAP budget will hold its own as the European Commission prepares to publish proposals for EU spending in the seven-year period after 2013.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels , Ms de Brún said:" I am encouraged by reports in advance of the European Commission publishing its budget proposals that the agriculture budget for the next period is to be maintained at the 2013 level. This is something we have been calling for and will be crucial in ensuring the future of our agri-food industry here.
"Farmers who have been concerned about the future of the SFP will be relieved that there appears to be more of a consensus emerging about a way forward for farm support through the Single Farm Payment
"Last year there was speculation that the CAP budget could face anything up to 40% cuts which would have been disastrous for our industry.While we're not out of the woods yet, today's news suggests that the overall figure for agriculture in the time ahead could be more balanced.
"I have some concerns, however, that Pillar 2 payments could be disproportionally cut as this could have a very negative effect for many schemes which have proven successful in combining farming with nature conservation.
"In its recent vote on the Dess report, the European Parliament made it clear that it wishes to see spending on agriculture and rural development at a sustainable level, with a strong CAP that maintains both pillars. It called for a strong CAP budget, rejected calls for cuts in rural development funding and called for adequate funding for Pillar 2 in the next financial period.
"The detailed way ahead will be carefully negotiated by governments, the European Commission and the European Parliament over the next 9 months or so. But the big discussions on how to divide up the cake will come depend crucially on how big the overall spend on agriculture and rural development in the seven-year period after 2013 will be.
"I have stressed to Commissioner Ciolos the need for a strong and sustainable CAP, based around two pillars, maintaining the Single Farm Payment and having a strong and fair Pillar 2. For the sake of our ecosystems as well as for the sake of our farm families, we must work to prevent land abandonment and have policies that ensure that farmers can remain working on the land and providing the services that society needs."