Written answers

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Department of Agriculture and Food

EU Regulations

9:00 pm

Photo of Michael FinneranMichael Finneran (Longford-Roscommon, Fianna Fail)
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Question 39: To ask the Minister for Agriculture and Food the recent correspondence or discussions she has had with Commissioner Fischer Boel on the simplification of EU regulations as these are applied to the farming community. [40268/06]

Photo of John CreganJohn Cregan (Limerick West, Fianna Fail)
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Question 50: To ask the Minister for Agriculture and Food the recent correspondence or discussions she has had with Commissioner Fischer Boel on the simplification of EU regulations as these are applied to the farming community. [40393/06]

Photo of Johnny BradyJohnny Brady (Meath, Fianna Fail)
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Question 75: To ask the Minister for Agriculture and Food the recent correspondence or discussions she has had with Commissioner Fischer Boel on the simplification of EU regulations as these are applied to the farming community. [40259/06]

Photo of Jimmy DevinsJimmy Devins (Sligo-Leitrim, Fianna Fail)
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Question 77: To ask the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position with regard to the implementation of EU regulations that impact on the farming community; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40274/06]

Photo of M J NolanM J Nolan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail)
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Question 118: To ask the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position in relation to the implementation of EU regulations which affect farmers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40272/06]

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Minister, Department of Agriculture and Food; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 39, 50, 75, 77 and 118 together.

My objective on an on-going basis is to ensure that all EU Regulations are drafted in simple and clear terms, that they provide for the appropriate levels of controls in relation to public health, animal health and public finances and that they do not confer excessive administrative or bureaucratic burdens on farmers, the public or my Department. I am fully committed to implementation of the various requirements in an impartial, balanced and practical manner.

I fully support, therefore, the process of simplification that is under way in the EU and I welcome the fact that the incoming German Presidency will give it the highest priority in the first half of 2007. Earlier in the year, my Department submitted suggestions for simplification to the Commission. I raised the matter with Commissioner Fischer Boel during her recent visit to Ireland in September and I wrote to the Commissioner on the matter on 17 October. Last week, I travelled to Germany for a meeting on this and other issues, with my German Ministerial colleague, Mr Horst Seefoher, who is taking over the Presidency in January. He has already indicated that he intends to make simplification a priority issue in his Presidency. I used the meeting to make my views very clear on the matter.

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