Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
European Council Meetings
851. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the outcome of the 13 May 2020 EU Agriculture Council of Ministers meeting regarding Covid-19 supports to farmers and the agrifood sector including the use of CAP market disturbance aid and exceptional aid; the status of discussions with the Commission in this regard; and the proposals Ireland and like-minded countries made at the meeting. [5839/20]
852. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the outcome of the 13 May 2020 EU Agriculture Council of Ministers meeting regarding CAP reform post 2020; the latest discussions with the Commission in this regard; the status of the EU Commission farm to fork and biodiversity strategies which will be published soon; the proposals Ireland and like-minded countries made at the meeting regarding these strategies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5840/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 851 and 852 together.
On the 13 May, I attended a video-conference meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers with Agriculture Commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, and Fisheries Commissioner, Virginijus Sinkevicius, to discuss the effectiveness of measures introduced by the Commission to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agriculture and fisheries.
I welcome these measures, which include, inter alia private storage aid in the dairy and meat sectors which were a response to an Irish initiative. However, I also reiterated my ongoing concerns regarding the depth and potential duration of the crisis, and made it clear that these actions can only be the first step. In particular, I called for additional funding to be made available in the form of exceptional aid for livestock producers.
I also called for the CAP post-2020 budget to be fully restored in the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the important role farmers play in putting food on European tables. They are also expected to contribute to achieving higher levels of climate ambition post-2020, and so we must ensure that we have a CAP budget that is fit for purpose.