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MEP Anderson welcomes progress in ‘CAP’ Reform

21 March, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson while welcoming the latest development in the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) said she still has some concerns about the overall allocation.

Speaking after this week's meeting of European Agricultural ministers, Martina Anderson said:

"I welcome the latest development in the negotiation process and although it is significant that the council have managed to reach a conclusion, and I welcome any move towards a more flexible CAP, I still have some outstanding worries regarding the overall CAP allocation.

“While there is now an acceptance of the need to move towards a fairer system of distributing farm payments, it is still unclear what this will mean if the agreement is implemented.

“It is also unclear how quickly the new system, assuming it is approved by the Parliament, will come into effect and how it will be implemented here, given the scope for flexibility on the part of member states. I would hope that moves towards redistribution will begin immediately and that we will see a significant shift before 2019.

"I also hoped to see more clarity and detail surrounding the new payments system, however any agreement is a good step towards the start of the negotiating process with the European Parliament and I sincerely hope that in these talks common sense prevails and the money goes where it is needed. Capping payments at €100,000 would also ensure that more money goes where it is really needed, but unfortunately this was not prioritised by the ministers.

"Finally the flexibility agreed upon on the issues of Greening and Direct payments is a positive development, it is good to see that there is recognition that a one-size fits all approach will not do.

“I will of course continue to vigorously lobby for the outcome most favourable to our farming sector to ensure maximum flexibility in implementing any Greening directives. I will work with all Irish MEP’s to achieve the best possible deal for our agriculture sector and urge the Irish government – who presently hold the EU Presidency - to act in the best interests of all Irish Farmers during forthcoming proposal adoption discussions within the EU Parliament.”

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