Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Common Agricultural Policy
845. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the most recent developments on reform of the CAP; the progress on agreeing a new programme at EU level; and the progress made in obtaining agreement by all member states to reverse the proposed budget cuts to the next CAP. [5831/20]
Since their publication by the European Commission in June 2018, intensive discussions have taken place on the CAP reform proposals. While significant progress has been made, final agreement has not yet been reached. Before the new CAP can be implemented, it will be necessary to reach overall agreement within the Council, and then with the European Parliament and Commission. Neither the EU Council nor the Parliament have reached agreement on a partial general approach.
It seems clear at this stage that agreement will not be reached by the end of 2020 and that transitional regulations will be required. Both the Council and the Parliament have agreed on their position in relation to the transitional period and therefore trilogue discussions between the Council, the Parliament and the Croatian Presidency are expected to take place in June.
I have worked hard with my European counterparts, and with Commissioners Hogan and Wojciechowski, to build consensus around the need to maintain a strong CAP budget post-2020. However, I am aware that there are divergent views amongst Member States on the appropriate level for the budget. Some, including Ireland, have indicated their willingness to increase their national contributions, once they contribute towards areas of added European value, while others feel equally strongly that the current proposals would be too costly.
There is still some way to go before agreement can be achieved, but I can assure the Deputy that my Department and I will continue to ensure that protecting the CAP budget remains a key priority for Ireland in these negotiations.
Agreement on the next MFF is a matter for Heads of State and Government, and requires unanimity by all Member States at the European Council. The proposed budget must also be agreed by the European Parliament.