Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food
Disadvantaged Areas Scheme
Michael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
Question 588: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if, as it is reported that the EU Commission has confirmed that an application has been received from Ireland regarding changes to the qualification criteria for payment structure for the disadvantaged area scheme, he will confirm his intention in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8452/12]
Simon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
The Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, which is co-funded by the EU, is an integral part of Ireland’s Rural Development Plan, 2007/2013, and as such, any proposed change to Scheme criteria requires the agreement of the EU Commission. In this regard, therefore, the changes announced in the context of the recent Budget are under discussion with the EU Commission and the Commission’s response is expected shortly.