Written answers

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Department of Agriculture and Food

Common Agricultural Policy

11:00 pm

Photo of Margaret ConlonMargaret Conlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

Question 71: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the consideration which has been given to the CAP post 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25950/09]

Photo of Margaret ConlonMargaret Conlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

Question 83: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food his views in relation to the need for a strong well funded CAP post 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25949/09]

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Minister, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

I propose to take Questions Nos. 71 and 83 together.

A first policy debate on CAP post 2013 took place at the Informal Agriculture Council in September last year under the French Presidency and the Czech Presidency has continued the debate in the first months of 2009.

Notwithstanding discussions to date, concrete proposals have yet to emerge on the shape of EU agriculture policy beyond 2013. Among the ideas emerging are:

Demands from some Member States for a lower budget share for agriculture and for eventual dismantling of CAP.

Demands from new Member States for "re-balancing" of Member States' shares of agricultural funding.

Increased calls for changes to the Single Payment system to move from the historic model and to apply a "flatter" model of direct payments.

Calls for a greater focus on pillar 2 and introduction of more specific selection criteria and indicators to measure the effectiveness, outputs and impacts of rural development programmes.

Continuing pressures to reduce supply and market management mechanisms with a greater reliance on crisis management.

My own view, which I have expressed at meetings of the Council and bilaterally to my Ministerial colleagues, is that we must maintain a strong agricultural production base in the European Union in the future to take account of the challenges ahead in meeting increased demands for food. Any reduction in food production in the EU would be taken up elsewhere, where less efficient production systems exist, and would result in a heavier carbon footprint. We must also undertake food production and distribution in a manner that is sustainable in all its dimensions — economically, socially and environmentally.

There will be major challenges ahead from climate change, increased competition on world and EU markets, the financial crunch and other factors. We must ensure that we have the capacity to cope with the challenges and fully exploit the opportunities as they emerge. To do so, our whole sector, from farm to fork, must be highly efficient and competitive. It must also be innovative, producing the products that changing consumer tastes demand, and it must be relentlessly focused on quality and safety.

To achieve these objectives, there is a continuing need for an active and appropriately resourced European agricultural policy. That policy needs to recognise the role that a cohesive agriculture & rural development policy can play in addressing future energy needs, addressing environmental concerns and providing a secure and sustainable food supply in Europe.

Comments

No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.