Targeting of Agricultural Reserve Funds “unacceptable” – Carthy
Speaking today at the Agricultural and Rural Development Committee of the European Parliament Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy highlighted his concerns surrounding the proposed reallocation of €448 million of the European Agricultural Guarantee Funds and the proposed mobilisation of the crisis reserve funds to the European Commission.
“It is completely unacceptable to target the Agricultural Crisis Reserve funds in order to deal with the Ebola crisis. That is not the purpose of these funds.
“This reserve was put in place for a reason - namely to provide security for farmers across the EU and there is very real concern that issues such as the price volatility in the beef sector and dairy sector in particular may create issues for farmers who may need these funds next year.
“While I recognise the need for the EU to respond to the Ebola crisis and indeed I feel that the European response to this issue needs to be more robust in order to ensure that adequate protection is provided to the millions of Africans who are in immediate risk, it is the responsibility of the EU to act collectively rather than targeting the Budget of one particular sector such as agriculture, particularly as it is a sector vulnerable to market conditions.
“The commission needs to be more mindful of the effects of dipping into the Agricultural Budget, the reality is that any measures which impact on the incomes of farmers or reduces the stability of the agricultural sector has wider implications for the local communities and rural economy, of which farmers are the backbone.
“My party colleague, Liaidh Ni Riada MEP has also raised this issue at the Budgetary Committee meetings and we will continue to oppose any measures to raid the Agricultural Budgets.”