O’Neill launches consultation on CAP reform proposals
Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA today launched a consultation on the EU Commission’s legislative proposals for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2013.
The EU Commission published its legislative proposals for reform of the CAP post 2013 on 12 October 2011. The proposals will be the subject of negotiations which will take place over the following 18 months to shape the next CAP programme.
Launching the consultation, the Minister said: “The publication of the Commission’s legislative proposals marks the beginning of the formal negotiations on the future of the CAP post 2013.
“The proposals cover most elements of CAP and include significant change to the system of making direct payments to the farming sector. We are at a very early stage in the reform negotiations, and it is important that I gather the views of stakeholders to inform my position as the discussions in Brussels gather pace in the months ahead.”
The Minister continued: “These proposals are detailed and complex, but that is all the more reason that they are given careful consideration. I have asked my officials to organise a stakeholder conference before Christmas with a view to helping stakeholders better understand the proposals. The CAP is critically important in underpinning agricultural incomes and sustaining rural communities in the north. It also has a central role in conserving our environmental heritage – so please be sure to have your say.”
In conclusion, the Minister added: “I want to consult widely on these legislative proposals for CAP reform post 2013 and I encourage all interested stakeholders to give the proposals close scrutiny and make their views known to DARD by taking part in this consultation, which closes on 7 February 2012.”