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O’Neill focuses on CAP & CFP reform at MEP meeting

23 February, 2012 - by Michelle O'Neill

Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA today met with local MEP Diane Dodds and representatives of Bairbre De Brun and the European Commission Office in Belfast.

This was the latest in a series of now regular meetings aimed at fostering good working relationships between local MEPs and DARD designed to maximize the benefit of all constituents in the north of Ireland.

Speaking afterwards the Minister said: “At today’s meeting I raised the crucially important issue of CAP reform and the need to achieve as good an outcome as possible for our local industry. Given the wide ranging nature of the CAP reform proposals, it is important for us to remain in contact during the negotiations, and as we go forward, I am happy to consider any suggestions our MEPs have for continued engagement with the European Parliament on this issue.”

In addition to CAP reform, discussion included CFP Reform and the timetable for the European Parliament dealing with the seven legislative proposals on the table for CAP reform and CFP reform and the best way for DARD to influence the rapporteurs. Disallowance, LPIS, Rural Development Programme and animal health also featured.

The Minster added: “Today’s meeting offered us an opportunity to not only discuss and share our views on key issues of strategic importance, but to also concentrate on considering how our MEPs are going to feed into the European Parliament process. This was crucially important in determining the timing for DARD to produce timely and practical amendments which will be to the benefit of our local farmers and fishermen.”

In conclusion, the Minister said: “I welcome engagement with the MEPS today and I look forward to ongoing contact with them as we move forward on these important issues.”

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